Fire on the Mountainside
Lord Eliath Coldwater
Lord of House Coldwater, father to Tragan, Elsa, and Jarid.
Lord Eliath is the head of the Coldwater House. He is a cold, introspective man but is highly respected throughout the Vale for his martial prowess. Eliath came of age during a time of frequent clashes with the Clansmen, and earned his spurs fighting in bloody mountain skirmishes alongside his own Lord Father. He has a well-known history of brutality toward the highlanders, which culminated in the infamous battle (or massacre) of Redmount some two years past.
House Coldwater was summoned to war by Aegon V to combat a potential rebellion 5 years ago. Eliath acted as young Lord Jon Arryn’s marshall, having the most field experience among the Lords of the Vale. Eliath served with distinction and garnered much favor with the young Lord Arryn. The war culminated in the Battle of the Stepstones, where Maelys Blackfyre was slain and the rebellion crushed forever. Upon returning home, Lord Eliath learned that in his absence, the Clans had unleashed a series of brutal raids on Coldwater lands.
Refusing to allow his soldiers even one day of leave after returning home, Eliath marched his entire House into the mountains. Alongside Eliath rode Lord Tollett, ever a steadfast friend to House Coldwater. The two armies marched for several days, hoping to lure the Clansmen to a field suitable for linear warfare. Unbeknown to Tollett, Eliath dispatched a small unit of reliable men under the command of Ser Daniel. These men were ordered to locate the mountain holdfast and decimate it, along with any inside.
While the highlanders marshaled their forces to fight the invaders, Ser Daniel put the village to the torch, and massacred all of its inhabitants, including the elderly, the sick, women, and children. Several miles away, the clansmen were annihilated by the superior Coldwater and Tollett forces. Ser Tragan, Eliath’s eldest son, distinguished himself as the captain of the Coldwater horse, leading a decisive charge that resulted in the enemy’s ultimate rout.
Word of the massacre spread across the Vale, and all of Westeros. While some agreed with the measures Eliath had taken, many and more whispered “murderer” behind his back. Lord Tollett felt especially betrayed by Eliath’s actions, and the two longtime friends became bitterly estranged. For better or worse, the Coldwater reputation for icy pragmatism had been solidified for generations to come.