Following the Spring Campaign, House Albrecht was at its lowest point. Carrying the shame of Viscount Wilhelm Albrecht's death as well as the implications that Margave Falomyr had been the cause for their survival, when Hadrian Albrecht came to power it was as though being given a carcass in place of a living creature.
Through painstakingly meticulous planning, Hadrian managed to remove House Willow from its seat of power and repaired relations with House Creed. However, while this was occurring word of his aunt Agnes Albrecht's mistreatment at the hands of Margrave Falomyr began to meet the ears of the smallfolk. Although it was largely considered a private matter, when a song was created to commemorate her defilement, Hadrian had no choice but to demand his uncle desist in his actions.
In response, Margrave Falomyr personally had the bard responsible for the song to add an additional couplet.
''O' Lamb born of the Blackmarsh,'' ''how soft and sweet her flesh.'' ''I'll have for me her fatty rump;'' ''my banners may have the rest.''
Though the action was obviously a ploy to draw out Hadrian's ire, Hadrian fell readily into it. Overcome with outrage at the further offense that his family was faced with, he called upon every lord, knight, and soldier that he had at his command to begin Blackmarsh's first offensive campaign in nearly six generations. For his aunt's honor and his family's pride, Hadrian vowed to bring the powerful Margrave to his knees.
Sir Geoffrey Albrecht at the head of the Albrecht forces landed his soldiers on the coast of Bloodjoy, a small inlet that permitted the army to advance upon Falomyr. Lord Tyrius Bloodjoy, one of Margrave Falomyr’s commanders, was informed of their approach and refused assistance from Lord Edwin Crowe, his lifelong rival. The following confrontation ended in a surprising victory for the Albrecht forces.
Cutting through Bloodjoy, Sir Geoffrey Albrecht bivouacked his men in Crestford. The following morning, they awakened to reports that a large host headed by Lord Crowe was approaching, while a secondary army from the resurgent Lord Bloodjoy was nearly upon them. Sir Geoffrey led his men against Lord Crowe, where he was mortally wounded. On the battlefield, he elevated his cousin Anders to the position of Falconheart.
The Infiltration of Two Rivers followed the decisive victory over the combined forces of Crowe and Bloodjoy. Between the Rivers Walder and Marrow was Fort Two Rivers, held by Commander Malor Duncan. Unlike the noble lords that came before him, Commander Malor did not wish to meet the enemy in the field. Two Rivers fell not because of overwhelming force, but a deceptive ploy enacted by Lord Burkhard Thorne and Sir Malcom Marshal.
Lifebane was so named for the fact it presented little cover for an advancing enemy while granting defenders hills from which to fire. Taking the main force, Burkhard Thorne and his attackers crossed the fields until they were nearly annihilated. As they began to retreat, commanders Hollister Marsh and Calder Bane chased after them. It was at this point that Lord Edmund Caradas arrived with his cavalry to roll up both lines and present the Albrechts with an unexpected victory. Burkhard Thorne may have fallen, but the ploy was a success.
The Battle of Falomyr took place simultaneously with the Battle of Lifebane. Leading a smaller force, Anders Albrecht cut through the mountains and approached his uncle’s castle. Margave Falomyr rode to the front, accompanied by Asher Willow. In the ensuing melee, Asher was slain. Margrave Falomyr retreated.
The final confrontation of the war, Sir Anders Albrecht demanded the return of his aunt. Margrave Falomyr offered Anders the chance to duel for her safety, which the idealistic young knight accepted. Upon riding out to meet his uncle, he was ambushed and killed. Reinforcements from the south led by Vance Pendleton prevented a complete route and the Siege began. In its third week, the siege was brought to an end by the king.
The rammifications for Hadrian's War were dire. Not only did the cost of the war nearly bankrupt House Albrecht, but it failed to either end Auric Faromyr or return Agnes Albrecht to her family. It was said that upon hearing of his brother's death, Hadrian swore never again to smile. This was a vow, like all those he made, that he kept to the end of his life.
Margrave Falomyr was forced to return Falconheart in exchange for the captives taken. He refused to release Agnes Albrecht, however. When the king pressured him further, she reportedly took her own life. There were no doubts that he had killed his wife rather than hand her over, but the matter was resolved.
In defeat, Hadrian learned a great deal about warfare. Many sympathized with the Albrechts for not only their just cause, but also the cowardly means by which Auric Falomyr won his victory. This stain against the latter's honor would eventually lead to the War of the Ebontide.