Zilmar the Usurper

Zilmar
King of Trellin
Reign801-803
PredecessorTovelindra I
SuccessorTovelindra I
BornMarch 761
Died803 or 819

Zilmar the Usurper (March 761 – 803 or 819) was King of Trellin from 801 to 803, having deposed the reigning queen Tovelindra I with the support of several of the nobility. He was previously the governor of Vedalera. His reign was brief and tyrannical, as he attempted to remove all the political allies of Tovelindra, many fleeing to join her in Jajich. Most of the fleet quickly defected to join Tovelindra, and Zilmar found himself blockaded in Mar'theqa, and unable to provide food or subdue the populace he was soon faced with large revolts. Accounts of his death vary, but the most widely-accepted is that he was murdered by his servants in 803.

Political career

Little is known of Zilmar's early life and career, though his merchant family was evidently wealthy and possibly had connections in the court at Mar'theqa. Before becoming governor of Vedalera, Zilmar appears to have been some form of diplomat or minor customs official, but sources are vague and imprecise before 796, when he had an audience with Queen Tovelindra. Though he went intending to persuade Tovelindra to give him governorship of a more wealthy and pretihious city, court records suggest he was instead admonished for taking bribes from traders on the Serëtanz. This humiliation had several years to fester, and he took this time to gather allies for his 801 rebellion and claim to the throne.

Reign

Death

Exactly when Zilmar died has proven difficult to ascertain, with the two main sources on his life offering conflicting years. The Life of Tovelindra Twice-Queen, written in the 830s by the court historian of Tovelindra's son Kederm I, states that Zilmar was murdered by his servants during the blockade of Mar'theqa in 803. This is the most commonly accepted narrative in modern histories, though some scholars contest the veracity of the 'legitimist' narrative.

The alternative argument cites the Chronicle of Ledigar - "The deposed Trellinese king arrived in Hyser and died eight years thereafter, being present in the city's fall and flight". This quote has itself been a source of contention, offering no precise years. This has generally been taken to mean that the king in question was Zilmar, and that he lived in exile in Hyser for eight years before fleeing in the city's downfall in 811, dying another eight years after the annexation of Hysera, though again this is disputed, it being suggested that he died during the sack of Hysera.