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Originally a Veretian fort in the province of Delfeur (in Akielon, Delpha), Marlas was seized by Akielos in the last war against Vere. It was in the battle for Marlas when Crown Prince Auguste and King Aleron of Vere died.

The Battle of Marlas[]

The battle of Marlas (referred to as simply "Marlas") is arguably the most relevant event prior to the beginning of the series. It happens six years before the events of Captive Prince and constantly affects most, if not all, characters and events over the course of the books.

The battle was extremely significant to both Akielos and Vere, and to characters within them.

Akielos[]

For Akielos, the battle led to a satisfying victory against their long-standing enemy, the Veretians, who had taken Delpha from Akielos ninety years prior.

The battle wins them Delpha, primarily by effectively knocking the two Veretians closest to the throne when Crown Prince Auguste of Vere is killed in single combat by the Akielon Crown Prince Damianos and King Aleron of Vere is killed by an unknown archer (who is much later discovered to be the archer Langren, a member of the King's Guard, during the events of Kings Rising).

Damianos goes home a hero to his people for having killed Vere's beacon of hope. After Auguste and Aleron's death, Aleron's brother, newly named Regent of Vere, surrenders to King Theomedes of Akielos, bringing an end to the war and victory to Akielos.

Damianos of Akielos[]

To our main character, Damianos (or Damen), the aftermath of Marlas is largely positive. He is received as a hero in his home after bringing Akielos, essentially, to victory by killing Prince Auguste.

There is a downside that is briefly expressed: his close childhood friend, Nikandros, who he grew up with, is made Kyros of Delpha, and must leave Ios, the Akielon capital. Otherwise, Marlas is an absolute success for Damen.

Nikandros of Delpha[]

Nikandros gains a lot of power with the victory at Marlas, but we are made aware of his struggle, especially throughout Kings Rising, with the people of Delpha, who have been Veretian for all their lives and were too recently forced to change their customs and their loyalties and accept the people who killed their Prince, their King, and their countrymen and families as their rulers. In fact, we see the people of Delpha treat Crown Prince Laurent of Vere as their beloved ruler rather than Damen, who is officially their Crown Prince.

Vere[]

For Vere, the story is rather different and much more tragic.

During the war, two beloved rulers of Vere are killed in the span of a single day (not to mention the death of Queen Hennike only months earlier); Vere takes on a new ruler, the Regent, who is not nearly as loved as Auguste and Aleron; a new Crown Prince is appointed, and though Laurent is beautiful, he is not nearly as brave or strong as his brother.

They lose Delfeur and many, many men who fought in the war. The loss is a terrible blow to their pride.

Laurent of Vere[]

Laurent takes arguably the biggest blow at Marlas: he loses both his parents and his brother, Auguste, who he is known to have worshipped and loved beyond reason. He is suddenly made Crown Prince, which would have otherwise been nearly unimaginable, as King Aleron was in good health and Auguste was expected to be a good ruler with a long reign. He is left in the care of his uncle, who is not the kindest family.

Auguste was Laurent's protector when he was alive, and when he dies Laurent is left a child, only thirteen years old, alone, in the hands of a man who takes terrible advantage of him and, later, attempts to kill him several times. Auguste's death leads to the Regent's abuse of Laurent as a child, as well as, consequentially, Laurent's change in personality. To protect himself, Laurent has to adapt to the newly hostile court of Vere and find his own loyalties. He becomes, as we see him in Captive Prince, cold and emotionless, unpleasant. In fact, in the first book, Laurent is easily made out to be a villain. He wields words as weapons and uses people to his advantage, and his beauty drives people both for and against him.

Laurent also, inevitably, develops a deep hatred for his brother's killer, Damianos of Akielos -- or, as he is known in Vere, the prince-killer. This completely drives the interactions and developments between Laurent and Damen throughout the series.

The Prince's Men[]

Many of the Prince's men in the series were really a part of Auguste's guard (or, in Paschal's case, the King's household), and after Auguste's death are left with nowhere to go. A couple of years after Auguste's death, when Laurent has been abandoned and mistreated by his uncle and begins to make his own place in Arles, he seeks out these men and creates his own Prince's Guard and household, winning their loyalties and building, essentially, the group that will defend him and guarantee his survival through the events of Prince's Gambit four years later.

The Regent of Vere[]

King Aleron's younger brother, appointed Regent of Vere directly after Aleron's death, is one of the only Veretians who actually benefitted greatly from the loss at Marlas. In fact, we find out in Kings Rising that the Regent had a guiding hand in the more important deaths at Marlas.

With the purpose of holding the throne of Vere for his nephew until he is of age, the Regent is granted full power over the country, not only officially but also by swaying members of the court to his side. After six years we see him with such control over the court that Laurent, the Crown Prince and rightful heir to the throne, is essentially powerless in his own home.

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