Traditionally, Hardorn has been an ally of Valdemar. This changed, however, when King Alessandar was murdered by his power-hungry son, Ancar, who provoked a war with Valdemar by blaming Queen Selenay. It was discovered that Ancar was being manipulated by agents of the Eastern Empire with the purpose of weakening Hardorn and making it ready for Eastern conquest. At the death of Ancar by Elspeth, the Eastern Empire invaded.
The conquest was headed by Grand Duke Tremane, the heir presumptive of the Empire, as a task to show his worthiness to rule. Mired down by bad weather and hit-and-run attacks from the Hardornens who remembered Alessandar and being free, and further disorganized by the arrival of the Mage Storms, Tremane fortified his position. By making himself popular with the locals he eventually was named King of Hardorn. His honesty sealed by a curse of truth set by Solaris using Divine Magic and by his bonding to Hardorn with Earthsense, Tremane allied himself with the kingdoms of the west and severed his ties with the Empire.