For three generations prior to the uprising, House Albrecht and its bannermen waged war against House Menethil to maintain their sovereignty. When finally the Menethils applied the full might of their army to the province of Blackmarsh it fell quickly and after much fighting, Helmuth Albrecht swore himself to the King of Lordaeron. To mollify the aggrieved feelings of those defeated, the king wed Helmuth to his youngest daughter, Morgana, and ensured that House Albrecht would maintain a position of prestige as viscounts over their ancestral land.
But this did not address all concerns, nor did it bring to an end old rivalries. House Pendleton, one of House Albrecht’s most loyal supporters during their war against the Menethils, suffered great losses during their war. The head of the house, Holden Pendleton, had seen seven of his brothers put to the sword by Menethil commanders. Overcome with disgust with his former liege lord, he bided his time.
Upon Helmuth’s death, his eldest son Dedrick came to power in Blackmarsh. On the day that he was to be named as viscount, the Pendletons largely did not attend to swear themselves as his loyal bannerman. Using the pretense of a catching cold and old age as his excuse, Holden Pendleton missed the event entirely and put into action a plan that had been in creation since Helmuth’s knee touched the ground.
With so many bannerman in Blackwatch Keep to attend the ceremony, House Pendleton set its sights upon the Ebon Hill Pass, which separated Menethil assistance from entering Blackmarsh and its outlying fiefdoms. Once in place, Holden Pendleton had his second eldest son, Mason, prepare to repel invaders, while his eldest son Mortimer took command of those loyal to House Pendleton and the notion of a free Blackmarsh.
What followed was to be known as the Blackwood Uprising by the annals of history, though those within Blackmarsh give it the more personal name of the “Pendleton Insurrection”.
When news of Pendleton aggression reached Blackwatch Hold, the newly empowered Dedrick Albrecht answered with further aggression. A sickly young man, he named his younger brother Ulric the Falconheart into combat with those loyal to his house. The Albrecht host outnumbered the Pendleton army 2:1, but when they met in the Blackwood Forest many of those claiming to be loyalists defected and in the mists of the forest, the Albrecht army suffered the first of several losses.
While Ulric Albrecht fought to overcome the Pendletons in the series of battles that incorporated the “Battle of Blackwood Forest”, Dedrick sent Sir Lucas Marshal to Ebonloch Hold in an attempt to besiege it while the majority of the Pendletons and their allies were still in combat. This would culminate in the second defeat for House Albrecht, as Holden Pendleton had soaked the field in oil and set to flame all those that came to attack his castle.
As the battle in Blackmarsh spread, House Menethil sent its own soldiers to quell the uprising with intention of bringing to an end Albrecht rule as well. When the gallants of Lordaeron arrived, they were beset by guerilla warfare tactics from Mason Pendleton, who had learned a great deal from fighting trolls in his youth. House Menethil’s destriers and heavy armor proved ineffective in answering these swift attacks in Ebon Hill’s dense foliage and jarring turns.
After defeating Sir Lucas’ offensive, Lord Holden Pendleton saw fit to launch his own counter offensive. Bringing with him the remaining might of House Pendleton, he sought to converge with his son’s standing army in Blackwood Forest and march as one upon Blackmarsh. With Sir Ulric still fighting in Blackwood, the pincer would surely have spelled the end for House Albrecht’s army. Hearing word of this, Sir Arval Albrecht, the youngest of the brothers, rode against Lord Holden with an inferior force. He was defeated and slain, but the result of this is said to have been the turning point in the battle.
Shadowvale, a subsection of Blackwood Forest, is the location where Sir Ulric the Falconheart had his famed charge against House Pendleton. After suffering a series of losses he was informed that his younger brother had died in battle. Overcome with grief and accompanied by his lifelong friend Geoffrey Meadows, he gathered his men and charged the Pendleton army from its left flank, tearing through three commanders and splitting their forces in half. Shadowvale marks the first victory for House Albrecht in the Uprising.
Upon realizing that his army was cut in twine and his father’s army would be delayed as a result of Arval Albrecht’s battle at Umberden Valley, Mortimer Pendleton decided it was time to begin his siege at Blackwatch Keep. Bringing with him battle hardened men prepared to die for their cause, House Pendleton and its rebels charged into Blackwatch Keep and began their siege.
While Mortimer Pendleton began his attack on Blackwatch Keep, the Menethil soldiers once more began to cross the Pass. After hearing of his brothers’ deaths at the hands of Ulric Albrecht, Mason desired nothing more than to abandon his post and avenge them, so it was that he and his men aggressively pursued the Menethil army until they were set into flight. Capitalizing on this, he charged out after them but was caught in the midst of their secondary army’s arrival. Without shelter, Mason and his men charged in what was to be seen as a valiant, though impractical melee.
Holden Pendleton’s forces encountered Sir Geoffrey Meadows and those left behind to defend the forest. Entrenched, the Albrecht forces managed to hold the Pendletons at bay. Although it did not grant either side a decisive victory, the holding action did prevent Mortimer Pendleton from receiving additional aid at the Siege of Blackwatch.
With Sir Ulric still fighting through Mortimer’s rear fortifications, Blackwatch Keep was without defender. It was here that Lady Alaryana Albrecht, Dedrick’s half-elf wife, called upon the arcane to turn freezing rains into a blizzard that effectively held Pendletons at bay. By the time it came to an end, news of Mason’s defeat had reached the Pendletons and House Menethil’s imminent arrival ensured that morale soared for the Albrechts and diminished for the Pendletons.
Lord Holden Pendleton and Sir Ulric the Falconheart met in Bleeding Oak, a location so named for one of the final battles during Blackmarsh’s struggle against Lordaeron. With Holden’s men relatively rested and Sir Ulric exhausted from fighting through Mortimer’s soldiers, the two forces met in an unexpected victory for Sir Ulric. Defeated, Lord Holden Pendleton surrendered and brought an end to the Blackwood Uprising.
As a result of the Blackwood Uprising, House Pendleton was severely weakened in power and House Albrecht established a strong centralized role within the province. Many of the rebellious noble families were wiped out entirely in the war, leaving behind a great deal of room for promotions from within Albrecht loyalist ranks to ensure the longevity of the house.