That spring, Arthur lead a reconnaissance composed of his calvary units. Just north of Zarnix in a plain in the mountains, Arthur found the Amulet. He also found the Elves of Medeval north of Zarnix. These elves proved to be extremely hostile, and Arthur decided not to attack them to avoid any possible trouble with their cousins in Tranaval. Following an old mountain trail south from Zarnix, Arthur found Char and after a very tough battle, conquered it. Char proved to be a hard place to keep as the giants and their big brothers, the titans, periodically tried to reclaim their home.
That winter also saw a delegation from Pudawala arrive in Zarnix asking for Arthur's help against Lucinian's vassal, Malthorn. Merlin records that Arthur was quite ecstatic at acquiring his first ally against Lucinian.
With Zarnix in his hands, Arthur began to hear rumors from traders crossing the pass about the titans of Dersh and the trouble they were causing the Lucedians. When he marched to help the Pudawalans, he decided to go by Lucedia. The titans were reputed to have the long-lost Scepter of the Eastrealm. Outside of Lucedia, Arthur was met by the Frahali Knights. They offered to become his vassals if Arthur would help them throw out the Council of the Wise who had defeated' the titans by bribing them to not attack Lucedia. Arthur was uneasy about this proposal.
The Council was the legitimate ruler of Lucedia, and while he would have preferred to fight the titans, he could understand that sometimes fighting was not always the best solution; still, the offer of 750 gold a month as vassal fee was very tempting. Reluctantly, Arthur accepted the offer. After the Frahali Knights were installed in power, they told Arthur the titans had been severely weakened before the Council unwisely decided to stop fighting them. Arthur was suspicious of the statement, and cautiously advanced west from Lucedia to Dersh. When Arthur found the pass to Dersh heavily guarded, he decided to retreat and go help the Pudawalans.
The battle to regain the Soth river crossing was the first confrontation between Arthur's troops and Lucinian's Imperial forces which were sent to aid Malthorn. Arthur was surprised at how good the Imperials were. Up until now, Arthur had fought mostly low-level monsters and human troops; only the trolls had any ability. Arthur's soldiers were used to fighting at 5 to 1 odds and winning. The Imperials were crack troops, and Arthur won mainly because of his high-level mages and clerics. Even then it was close because the Imperials had mages and clerics of their own.
After recovering the Soth river crossing for the Pudawalans, Arthur decided to march on Sothold. Just outside the city, he encountered former supporters of Baron Strumberg who told him of a way around the main defenses of Sothold in exchange for 2,000 gold. Caatching the Imperials in the rear, Author seized the city and fought off counterattacks by the Imperials. With the seizure of Sothold, winter brought an end to the campaigning.
Arthur used the winter to rebuild and expand his forces. Paritan was a major source of recruits for new units. That spring, Arthur received fresh forces from Paritan through the Gernok pass. When Arthur approached Estallah, the ruler offered to turn on Lucinian and aid Arthur. Arthur turned down the offer first because he did not trust disloyal vassals, and second, he sensed the offer was false.
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