The Voiceless Moorstag is the name given to the Moorstag session between the 8th and 15th of Second Seed, 4E22. Following the War of Tulunese Succession, negotiations between Daggerfall and Glenumbra over various contested border territories within the recently annexed Barony of Glenpoint sparked a diplomatic crisis in the Glenumbran baronial court. While the Moorer lords of the Westbeth alliance insisted on tribute and concessions of land, the ruling baron himself, Damren Tawle - together with a great number of his vassals - argued for a lighter touch, and for closer relations with the western kingdom. The dispute finally came to a head in the assembly of the 8th of Second Seed - and, with the help of Daggerfallian arms, it would be resolved in favour of Tawle and his supporters.
Commonly, the end date of the Voiceless Moorstag is treated as the formal dissolution of a territorially integral Barony of Glenumbra - however, the actual peace treaty was only signed two days later, and Baron Damren's courtiers did not swear fealty to the Crown of Daggerfall until a month after.
With the Barony of Glenpoint annexed and dissolved following the disastrous War of Tulunese Succession, the victorious Glenumbrans found themselves in a rather awkward position. Their contributions to the war entitled the nobles of Glenumbra to their fair share of the spoils - namely, several border regions and petty lordships that had remained contested for generations on end. However, and as of the Treaty of Fontfort, the closest thing left to a ruling Baron of Glenpoint was the Glenumbran Baron Damren Tawle's own nominal sovereign - King Camaron Thagor of Daggerfall.
To many of the free Moorer lords, it seemed a simple and straightforward matter of demanding concessions from Daggerfall itself. Damren, though, had different plans - and with the allure of royal patronage and rule over lands all across the West firmly in mind, the baron invited a Crown delegation to his court, to discuss terms.
The Moorstag-in-Arms Edit
In the Moorstag convened to treat with the Daggerfallian emissaries, tensions were running high right from the start - and looked certain to escalate even further. After listening through group after group of Moorer delegates argue heatedly for reparations and tribute from the beaten Glennish, the baron finally put forth his own suggestion; no reparations, no tribute, no land, but a closer bond with Daggerfall. The West, Damren argued, was at their fingertips - they needed only look past some insignificant parcel of Glenpointer land to claim it.
Many of the Moorer lords were outraged; many others cried out in support of their baron. Two days of inconclusive back-and-forth followed, well-reasoned arguments and speeches giving way to insults and threats. Finally, the disagreements spilled out into the capital's streets - in a backalley scuffle, two chevaliers were injured and several of their retainers killed. Tomorrow's delegates assembled armed and armoured, and in the company of battle-ready servants. Knowing no good would come of this, Baron Damren put the matter of disbanding the Moorstag to the vote; unfortunately, the motion was vetoed by his opponents and bloodthirsty allies alike.
So checked, Tawle turned instead to the Daggerfallian envoys - and in a stroke of true brilliance, requested they depart, and allow the Glenumbrans time to deliberate. With any immediate and final decision on the issue of Glenumbra's war gains now made impossible, and lasting only four of its typical seven days, the Moorstag-in-Arms was forced to disband.
Prelude to the Voiceless Moorstag Edit
With Daggerfall's envoys hurrying back to the western capital bearing news of the crisis brewing in Glenumbra, and with much of the Moorer nobility restless after their last inconclusive Moorstag, the stage was set and the play - in motion. Over the coming weeks, a great many like-minded aristocrats would flock to Damren's banners; in the deep shadows of the baronial court, deals were struck and alliances forged, and some mutter that many a purse would come away weighed with Daggerfallian coin. Finally, two and a half months after the Moorstag-in-Arms, a number of eminent Glenumbran nobles met in the town of Grimley to sign their new declaration - the terms of a treaty that would all but hand the Moors to the Thagor Crown.
The Grimley alliance was met with open outrage. Their baron's loyalties suspect, and many of their fellow nobles likewise compromised, the fiercest of the free Moorer lords met outside the village of Westbeth to sign their own declaration - a categorical rejection of all that the Grimleys stood for, and of all Damren's promises for a brighter, Daggerfallian tomorrow. Refusing to be bought or reasoned with, the Westbeth allies would come to blows with the baron's supporters several times; and inadvertently, push many of their unaligned and indifferent compatriots straight into the royalist camp.
Soon, the situation had spun completely out of control, and two of the three Moorstags called after the infamous Moorstag-in-Arms were dissolved prematurely. On one occasion, a Westbethian chevalier armoured head to toe announced he would not share the staghall with "spineless traitors"; weapons were immediately drawn, trampling the sacred Moorstag law against brandishing arms during session.
And then, in mid-Second Seed and with Glenumbra on very the brink of ruin, the royal envoys of Daggerfall returned to the barony.
The Moorstag Edit
Meeting with Baron Damren in secret, the Crown messengers notified his baronial lordship that the western kingdom wished to send a delegation to the very next Moorstag assembled - to observe, and to partake in talks. Unofficially, but with Tawle's blessing, a myriad more diplomats and emissaries trickled into Glenumbra afterwards; seeking out nobles both Westbethian and royalist, to oil the cogs with bribes, promises and threats alike. Come the 8th of Second Seed, all was ready for the final act in the Glenumbran tragicomedy.
As the Moorstag convened warily and made its inaugural vows, the Daggerfallian delegation finally arrived - in the company of several hundred pledged chevaliers, armed for battle to a man. When confronted by hostile and understandably alarmed Westbethians, the royal envoys claimed it was nothing more than self-defence, a response to the unfortunate chaos of Moorstags prior; and Damren Tawle did nothing but smile, and nod thoughtfully in agreement. And as an eerie silence fell over the staghall, the baron raised his hand - and sealed Glenumbra's doom, calling upon Daggerfall's chevaliers to guard the Moorstag against anarchy and disruption.
What followed was a week-long play, rehearsed well beforehand and supervised by battleready soldier-knights. Many outspoken Westbethians were pointedly absent - a few arrested just outside the capital, others wounded in earlier skirmishes, or simply warned to go quietly missing for the next couple of weeks. Initial outrage was likewise limited, and quickly suppressed; defiance, after all, looked much too dangerous at the point of a foreign sword that cared nothing for your titles or lineage. And though a few nobles stormed out at its very start, and several others slipped away in-between daily sessions, the Moorstag proceeded largely as planned.
Only a select few nobles ever had the chance to speak; and their speeches had been written and proofed whole weeks prior. As the Voiceless Moorstag drew to its end, the Grimley declaration was finally given legal and binding power as an official treaty between Glenumbra and Daggerfall. Instead of any territorial gains for their victory in the War of Tulunese Succession, the Moorer lords were to swear themselves over to the Thagor Crown.
The Voiceless Moorstag marked the end of an independent and territorialy undivided Barony of Glenumbra. With many of the great Moorer lords swearing fealty to Daggerfall alongside their baron, many more would follow in search of royal, or simply Daggerfallian patronage; some willingly, others - in fear of losing their lands and titles. The death-throes of Glenumbra would drag on for several months, yet by their end it was inescapably clear - ultimate power within the barony now rested not with its own rulers and nobles, but with the Kings and Queens, the Dukes and Archdukes of Daggerfall.
Of the most outspoken Westbethians, a few would refuse to relent, or to accept the decrees of the Grimley accords. They would be stripped of their lands and their titles, and a number would be banished to the isle of Betony. Many remain there to this day.
As a triumph of Daggerfallian diplomacy, the Voiceless Moorstag did not draw nearly as much outside attention as the War of Tulunese Succession had earlier; nevertheless, it was another in a series of flashpoints that broke the languid stalemate left lingering after the Warped Years. With many of its neighbouring regional lordships so dismantled or conquered, the Kingdom of Daggerfall was left to reign over the West largely unchecked - and could soon lay meaningful claim to the whole of Greater Betony.