In the last years of the reign of King Sendar, the Sunpriests of Karse hired the Tedrel Mercenaries to defeat Valdemar.[1]

A few companies of Tedrels were dangerous enough, for they refused to obey Mercenary Guild rules against rape, pillaging or outright destruction of infrastructure and citizens. But Karse hired all of the Tedrel companies: a population of an entire country who had been dispossessed of their homeland. Karse offered the Tedrels their heart's desire: the lands of Valdemar.

The Tedrel Wars lasted a little over four years. Each year from spring to fall the Tedrels launched scorched earth campaigns against Valdemar's borderlands, destroying farming and commerce in the area, impoverishing or killing the inhabitants. Each winter would mark an "end" of a Tedrel war, during which the mercenaries moved to a new base location across the border, fortifying it before attacking a new Valdemar territory in the spring.

As time went on, Karse discovered it had a tiger by the tail - the massive Tedrel army required food and money, and if their need was not met, simply took it from citizens. The government coffers and the resources of Karse were being depleted at an alarming rate. And if the Tedrels did not defeat Valdemar, they might turn around and conquer Karse instead. The sunpriests eventually moved Karse's own army into positions where they could defend their country against the Tedrels, if necessary.

Meanwhile, the Tedrel strategy against Valdemar was working. King Sendar did not want to cross into Karse itself, so Valdemar fought only in defense, while the Tedrels chipped away at them. For the first three years, Valdemar held back their full forces, feigning a weakness that did not exist. In the fourth year, they lured the Tedrels with the prospect of an easy victory, and then threw everything Valdemar had into a final all-or-nothing battle.

While approaching the confrontation, the Heralds discovered that their ForeSight and FarSight were being blocked by the enemy. When a vision finally came through during the fight, they learned that the Tedrel cavalry was elsewhere, decimating border villages. The heralds had to separate from the main army to defend those people.

As a distraction from their departure, King Sendar charged into the fray. He was such an inviting target that the enemy disregarded their battle plans and focused on him. The Valdemar army had energetically followed the king, but he was surrounded by the enemy and killed.

That was when a shriek of berserk rage tore the throat of every man and woman in the army,[2] and sent them against their foes in a killing frenzy such as no Valdemaran had experienced in three centuries[3] or more. - Exile's Honor

Valdemar's army managed to send what was left of the Tedrel forces fleeing, most back into Karse, but some into Valdemar itself. They left them to it, knowing that they those in Valdemar would either settle into a new life or show themselves to the authorities and likely end up at the end of a hangman’s noose for any more trouble they caused. As for those that fled into Karse, the sunpriests' own forces were guaranteed to take care of them.

King Sendar's death left the heir Selenay as Queen, and Monarch's Own Talamir near death's door, bereft of his companion Taver, who died at the King's side.

As a footnote to the war, Alberich managed to take a small force just inside the Karse border to rescue what were dubbed the Tedrel Orphans, a motley group of just over a thousand children, camp followers and assorted others, and bring them back over the border to safety.


  1. The Tedrel Wars are mentioned throughout the books. However, the details were published in Exile's Honor.
  2. The entire Valdemar army was made aware of King Sendar's death in a single instant, broadcast by an untrained empath soldier. See "War Cry" by Michael Longcor in Crossroads and Other Tales of Valdemar, Anthologies, Volume 3
  3. Approximately three centuries prior, Lavan Firestorm fought in a war against Karse.