Arabel, long under the dominion of Cormyr, for a time became the center of a swordsman’s empire. This swordsman was Gondegal, the Lost King, who in the Year of the Dragon (1352 DR) attempted to carve a kingdom for himself centered on Arabel. it was to extend north to the Desertsmouth Mountains; south and west of Wyernwater and the farms outlying from Eveningstar; and east to Tilver’s Gap and the mountain passes.
In the years following, people would say that Gondegal’s reach was no longer than his blade. He could not hold any of the territory against the might of Cormyr, Sembia, Daggerdale, Tilverton, and several of the other Dales -all of whom he drew the blood and ire of in the making of his throne.
Gondegal ruled for less than a season, though he reigned officially for scarcely eight days. The remainder of his rule was spent fighting here and there against one foe or another in the lands he claimed. His troops were largely mercenary, and his treasury of seized goods was small and soon gone. One night Gondegal’s force simply melted away before the advancing troops of Cormyr, and was gone. King Azoun IV retook Arabel on that morn without wetting a blade.
No one has ever found the body of Gondegal; he is known to have fled north and then east via Teshwave, but then his fate becomes a matter of conflicting rumor and legend. Some believe he still lives with a score or more of loyal followers, keeping court in the wilds somewhere, a careful and ruthless bandit who takes care that none survive his attacks to carry tales anywhere. When entire caravans vanish at times anywhere between the High Dale and far-off Impiltur, he is blamed by talk in the taverns.
Gondegal was said to be a tall, gray-haired warrior of considerable personal skill and intelligence. His badge was a gray wolf’s head, face on, with red eyes. Caraban guards often warn merchants to beef up the escort on a particular caravan, ” else thy gold’ll soon be gilding Gondegal’s throne.” Gondegal was an impeccable swordsman and somewhat chaotic in his self professed neutral alignment. If he does indeed yet live, the magic or treasure he carries, and who his allies might be, are all unknown.
Gondegal’s reign had a great influence on the King of Cormyr, at that time in his second decade of rule. Not only was Azoun forced to put down an effective rebellion in his own country, he was forced to pay more attention to matters outside Suzail, to become the ruler of a nation as opposed to a city-state. Further, the bloodless assault on Arabel was Azoun’s first true experience at the head of his army, and the joy of “freeing” the people of Arabel is one that remains with him.