The period known as the Stokeswood Reconquest refers to a series of military battles and political maneuvers that culminated in the triumph of Lord Williert Stokeswood as the strongest lord of Everbright.
During the Third War, the Scourge laid waste to Lordaeron. Everbright, being a province of the realm, did not escape the undead onslaught. As such, many cities and castles fell to the might of the vile creatures.
House Clatter was the dominant power in the region at the time. They commanded the greatest host and possessed the most resilient keeps. Moreover, the Clatters joined forces with House Stokeswood, their vassals and second force in Everbright. However, this was not enough to escape death by the hands of the damned.
In what become known as the Last Stand at the Bridge, the combined resistance was torn apart. Lord Alexander Stokeswood gathered whatever men he had left and marched in full retreat towards Silverstone Keep, his main seat of power.
Simultaneously, Lord Steffon Clatter ordered his soldiers to fall back to Norven's Plateau, but the Scourge commander chose to follow them, as he knew House Clatter posed the greatest danger to his plans of conquest. Therefore, the host of Steffon was smashed, the noble falling honorably in battle. Alas it was the end of his family, for he possessed no heirs.
After the razing of Norven's Plateau, the Scourge set its gaze once again to House Stokeswood. Lord Alexander's forces were battered from the previous engagement at the bridge, and thus, Silverstone Keep was destroyed without much effort. Nonetheless, this was not the end of his line. The Lord-Paramount of Silverstone stood against the undead, allowing his brother Williert to assemble the small folk and flee to Hillsbrad, along with a reluctant Darion Stokeswood, heir apparent.
Williert became the de-facto head of his House, as Darion was still a very inexperienced and above all, struggled to get over his grief. As such, the wizard spent years building alliances, making promises of gold and land, until he had raised an army powerful enough to retake his homeland.
Finally, the mage had the opportunity he always wanted. The Alliance and Horde journeyed to Northrend in order to vanquish the Lich King. Without further delay, Williert Stokeswood commanded his troops to march towards Everbright.
The Battle of SilverstoneEdit
The first target of House Stokeswood host was everyone's desire: Silverstone Keep. The mighty castle was now all in ruins. Still, the Scourge had left a small garrison, consisting of a death knight who answered by the alias of Greydespair and some undead minions.
Whereas in the past the keep's defenses were no match for the damned, this time the armies commanded by Williert swarmed the abominations guarding over the castle. Lord Darion Stokeswood had the command of the rear guard, but he was a young paladin, eager for glory and delivering retribution unto the Scourge.
As the Everbright loyalists breached through the gates and took all parts of the Keep, only the great hall remained, in which Greydespair stood defiant against the invaders.
Williert, having fought against the Scourge multiple times, both in Dalaran and in Everbright, knew that death knights had great cunning and malice. He sensed a trap, and ordered his men to proceed with caution.
Despite this command, Lord Darion, anxious to finally rid Silverstone of the Scourge, charged blindly into the fray. Needless to say, the Scourge leader took advantage of it and butchered the paladin and head of Stokeswood.
Williert's heart sank for a moment, but he did not allow this to spread to his men. Having wasted his trap on Darion, Greydespair was killed by the opposing forces.
Through fields of ironEdit
Having successfully taken Silverstone Keep, House Stokeswood, now officially led by Williert Stokeswood, was able to resettle in Everbright.
The first order of business was moving small folk to Iron Town, once the biggest town in Stokeswood territory, northwest of Silverstone, and begin reconstruction. Williert also ordered the reactivation of the first iron mine.
Finally, word of victory reached Hillsbrad. Many who had not followed him due to lack of faith in his cause, or even pure terror to face the Scourge once more, returned home. The Lord of Silverstone determined that the peasants begin to work in the land once again.
In a very small window of time, Silverstone reaped the benefits. The army was now being fed with the provisions of the field, and they had enough iron to build more weapons and repair fortifications.
The Pride RestoredEdit
After spending the necessary time to resupply his host, Williert decided it was time to bring the war to the remaining parts of Everbright. In order to continuously seize the momentum of the War in the Cold North, the lord knew he needed to increase his holdings fast, before the Forsaken and the Sin'dorei returned to claim for themselves.
As such, he chose to split his army, giving command of the secondary portion to Lord Sintas Wolvesbane, head of House Wolvesbane and his loyal friend. This part would journey south and reclaim Dawnville. Afterwards, they were bound to the Twin Towers of Leopold.
Meanwhile, the main force marched north, meant to purge the undead from Duskenhall and reactivate the second iron mine of Everbright. Moreover, Williert's troops continued their trek north, with the purpose of seizing Brightharbor, an once great port in northeastern Lordaeron.
The Scourge remaining in these places offered small resistance to the armies of House Stokeswood. The undead fell quickly to the gallant soldiers of Everbright, further emboldened by their previous victories.
As Brightharbor was retaken, the Lord of Silverstone bought two small trading galleys from Kul'Tiras, with the purpose of reigniting the commerce of Everbright.
With that, all territory that belonged to House Stokeswood before the Third War was once again in the possession of its rightful owners.
Williert Stokeswood summoned all lords of Everbright, whether they were vassals to him or not, to a feast in Silverstone Keep to celebrate the coming of what he called a new era.
Warden of EverbrightEdit
Many answered the call of the Lord of Silverstone. Amongst them were Sir Ulrich Hoffen, landed knight and Lord of Hope's End, Lord Sintas Wolvesbane, Lord Rickard Tollder, Lord Jonas Keen, Lord Henry Gonder, Lord Vincent Leinder and many others.
During the banquet, Williert shared his plans to the future of Everbright. Many of the lords present were eager to hear it, as they possessed no armies capable of reclaiming their seats of power. In fact, they relied on House Stokeswood to do that.
As the night went on, the wizard, now a powerful man in another right entirely, felt confident enough to make his most daring move so far. In the great hall, he rose himself from the chair and declared himself Warden of Everbright.
The title was once a hereditary honor granted to the Lord of Silverstone. Alas, it changed hands in the aftermath of the Everbright Civil War, when Jakob Stokeswood was compelled to bend the knee to Vincent Clatter.
Ever since, the position lost much of its importance, remaining only a token of prestige. Regardless, Williert knew men gave much value to symbols, especially in times of strife, and the title was important to consolidate his rule in Everbright.
Taking advantage of the fact House Clatter was presumed extinct, and his marriage with its last member, Lady Angela Clatter, the Lord of Silverstone sought to push his claim through right of conquest and marriage, if necessary.
With that announcement, all lords bent the knee, swearing fealty to House Stokeswood. However, Lord Vincent Leinder of Vanderholde, was visibly the least enthusiastic of it all. It is worth mentioning that House Leinder have historically been the most loyal vassal to House Clatter.
Strife once moreEdit
Now with the support of all Everbright, Williert Stokeswood moved south to retake the rest of the province, that once belonged to House Clatter.
His forces, now enough to stand against even the possible Forsaken invasion in the future, had little trouble in conquering the remaining lands. Besides, more people from all the Eastern Kingdoms came every day, most of them Lordaeron loyalists yearning for home.
Alas, it did not take much time for Lord Stokeswood to face problems again, as Vincent Leinder was scheming rebellion with the intent of overthrowing what he called a "filthy usurper of Silverstone".
A letter was discovered in which Vincent was offering gold to any man who found a true Clatter heir. While Lord Stokeswood was disappointed, that betrayal was not a surprise.
As such, he rode to Vanderholde in order to confront the treasonous lord. His visit was wholly unexpected by Lord Vincent. When the matter was brought to him, he denied the allegations, but the evidence was glaring enough to have him arrested. His son, Theldon Leinder was enraged and in a rash act, blinded by youth foolishness, challenged Williert to single combat.
The Lord of Silverstone did not see fit to reject it, for such duel involved honor, and he wanted to consolidate his power. He knew many of his bannermen valued it above everything else. Regardless of that, the wizard was a better politician and tactician than a duelist. As such, he named as his representative Sir Ferdinand Qinter, knight-commander of his household guard.
The knight was considerably more experienced and talented, resulting in a rather one-sided duel, which culminated in Theldon's demise, Vincent's only son.
The Lord of Vanderholde faced trial for treason and was found guilty of the charges, in a jury consisted of Williert Stokeswood, Lord Rickard Tollder and Lord Henry Gonder. As a result, he was beheaded and his line extinguished. The holdings of House Leinder were annexed by the Warden of Everbright.
Siege of BrightwatchEdit
By now, the war on the Cold North had ended, the Lich King brought to his knees and his reign ended by the forces of the Alliance and the Horde. The combatants, including the Forsaken, returned home.
This affected greatly Williert's plans, given that until that point, he had to contend only with minor Scourge forces, whereas now he would certainly face Sylvanas' forces in the field. Undercity's forces would prove a lot more difficult to fight.
Thanks for him, almost all territory of Everbright was free and only one castle remained: Brightwatch, in the border with Forsaken holdings.
He convened with his bannermen in Norven's Plateau, where they decided to end Windrunner's threat before it turned bigger. All lords marched in direction of Brightwatch, at first to reinforce their position. Alas, in the way they learned the Forsaken had advanced into Everbright and set base in Brightwatch; their numbers enough to jeopardize the peace achieved by Williert.
The host arrived in two days at the foot of Brightwatch, meeting the Forsaken heavily entrenched in the castle.
The Lord of Silverstone moved his troops in position to besiege the Keep. The Warden knew the siege could not take much time, or else he risked getting caught between the defenders of the keep and possible reinforcements.
Therefore, he ordered his men to gather lumber from the Dense Wood, a command the soldiers were reluctant to obey, as the forest had a reputation to being cursed. With the lumber, he began the construction of battering rams, siege towers and ladders.
After a fortnight of small engagements, the armies of Everbright stormed the castle with their siege equipment. It is estimated a hundred men perished in the battle, but in the end, Brightwatch had been purged of the Forsaken. Alas, the keep lay in ruins, for the walls were broken during the assault.
The successful Siege of Brightwatch marked the end of the military conquest of House Stokeswood in Everbright. After vanquishing Scourge, Forsaken and internal opposition, the Lord of Silverstone emerged triumphant.
The holdings of his family increased considerably, given that all lands once ruled by House Clatter were in his possession. Besides, House Leinder's territory also belonged to him.
These victories allowed him to face his gaze outwards, towards the rest of Lordaeron. Now a powerful lord in his own right, Williert Stokeswood swore fealty to Queen Madelynne I, crowned sovereign of the Kingdom of Lordaeron Restored.
This decision turned to be of great benefit for House Stokeswood's plans in Everbright, as Lady Albrecht granted him aid to rebuild Brightwatch in the form of laborers. Moreover, she opened her coffer to give him coin with the intent of building a fleet. These acts have further ensured his position as dominant overlord in the region.