Pip the Gallant

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Pip the Gallant
Pip invading Luradia in 972 (detail of a 13th century miniature). Sani Bursil University.
King of Staynes
Reignc. 972 - 7 October 981
King of Staynnica
Reignc. 970 - 972
Born935 - 936
Athgard, Staynnica
Died7 October 981 (aged 45 or 46)
Burialc. 1030
Syllester Abbey, Redrugus
FatherRædulf, King of Staynnica

Pip the Gallant (Old Staynish Þipæ; between 935 and 936 – 7 October 981) was King of Staynnica from 970 to c. 972 and King of Staynes from c. 972 to 981. He was the youngest son of King Rædulf of Staynnica. His father was assassinated when he was a late teenager and three of Pip's brothers, Ræulf, Rænnulf and Rænouart, reigned in turn.

After acceding to the throne, Pip spent two years fighting the Maltervenian Empire. He won a decisive victory in the Battle of Tuskinay in 971. A year later he led an combined invasion force alongside forces of the Kingdoms of Dovia, Laulia and Calthia against the Maltervenian Empire where he slew King Botulf of Maltervenia and became King of the Staynes in 972. Details of his life are described in a work by 10th-century Thaerist scholar and bishop Amader.

Pip had a reputation as a learned and merciful man of a gracious and level-headed nature who encouraged education, proposing that primary education be conducted in Staynish rather than Ethalrian and improving the legal system, military structure and his people's quality of life. He was given the epithet "the Gallant" during and after the Reformation in the sixteenth century.

Early life

Pip was the forth son of Rædulf and Mahald of Donomere. Pip was born between 935 and 936 in Athgard. In charters he was always listed behind his older half-brothers, showing that he ranked behind them.

Either at 18 or 19 years old, Pip married princess Kælwith of Dogrugia. During his stay he was informed of his fathers death. Years later, King Ræulf, Pip's oldest brother sailed to Damezkador to plan invasion tactics of the Maltervenian Empire to establish a new economic hierarchy that favoured Staynnica and the three other kingdoms. Ræulf was killed on his return voyage and his sibling declared war on Maltervenia. Pip was around 35 where he led armies with his two older brothers Rænnulf and Rænouart. In the battle of Vern Bridge Pip saw Rænnulf die in battle, but his older brother continued on and scored a victory against the Maltervenians, later being crowned king.

The third son Rænouart reigned in turn, but died of dysentery months later. Pip killed Botulf's son and heir prince Bardolf in battle, later receiving blows to the left arm and thigh. As the new king, Pip was forced to retreat his forces beyond the Black Hills, conceding large swathes of territory to Botulf.

Traumatised by his sons' death, Botulf retreated back to Hissingard. With no heir to the throne and an infertile wife he remarried and had twin children who were both girls. After Rænouart's sudden death in 972 and ascending the throne, Pip found out about Botulf's ill-success. He repelled an invasion led by Botulf's younger brother Begald, killing him in the process, and a month later created a corridor to the Calath kingdoms and joined forces, creating a huge invasion force against King Botulf on the outskirts of Hissingard, becoming King of the Staynish after the defeat of King Botulf at the battle of Kasilly Rock in 972.