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Gareth of Conté
King of Tortall
In Own Right
Style His Royal Majesty
Start of Reign 278 HE
Coronation Date
End of Reign 321 HE[1]
Regency Council
Predecessor King Roger III
Heir Apparent
Heir Presumptive
Successor King Wylles[1]
King's Champion
Prime Minister
Bequeathed by
Date Bequeathed
Crown Prince of Tortall
Heir to the Throne
Style His Royal Highness
Tenure 246 HE - 278 HE
Reigning Monarch
Liege Lord
Years of Service
Biographical Information
Birth Name
Maiden Name
Nickname Builder
Honorific '
Born 246 HE
Nationality Tortallan
Physical Description
Gender Male
Hair Brown
Family Information
Noble House Conté family
Ancestors King Jonathan I
Parents King Roger III
Queen Jessamine
Adoptive Parents
Siblings Unnamed
Adoptive Children
Descendants King Jasson III
King Roald V
Duke Roger
King Jonathan IV
Crown Prince Roald
Empress Kalasin
Prince Liam
Prince Jasson
Princess Lianne
Princess Vania
Princess Lianokami
Crown Prince Binur
Other Family Prince Baird(uncle)
Patron God
Rank Royalty
Residence Tortallan Royal Palace
Bazhir Tribe
K'miri Tribe
Sponsored by
Sponsor to
Training Master
Knight Master
Year Knighted
Military Affiliation
Military Branch
Squad Leader Sergeant
Rider Group Group
Provost's Guard
Guard District
Guard Watch
Bibliographical Information
Tortallan Universe character
First Mentioned '
Only Mentioned '
First Appeared '
Last Appeared '
Latest Appearance '
Only Appearance Mastiff
Last Mentioned '

Gareth III of Conté (pronounced GAHR-eth of kohn-TAY), called Gareth the Builder after and during his reign, succeeded his father, King Roger III, as King of Tortall in 278 HE.



Gareth was born in 245 HE to King Roger III and his second wife, Queen Jessamine, displacing Baird of Conté as the heir to Tortall's throne. His birth coincided with Roger becoming a more active monarch, thanks to Jessamine's responsible personality. The resentment this caused among certain noble houses (who were used to doing as they would without the throne's interference) and in particular the realm's great mages resulted in a treasonous plot led by his uncle.



The Summer Palace in Blue Harbor was attacked during the royal family's stay in June of 249 HE. Most of Gareth's personal guards and his nurse Lunedda were killed and he was abducted by a group of slavers in the conspirators' employ. He was spelled so that any injury to him would injure his parents as well, so he was kept hidden and given relatively light work while the conspirators went through their plan. He was witness to many more deaths among the slavers and the child slaves he knew. He was called "No-Skin" while he was at Fief Queensgrace to hide his identity and because no one was allowed to injure him. He befriended a slave girl named Linnet Beck while he was a Queensgrace. Linnet was later murdered by Elyot of Aspen Vale, a powerful mage. The slavers kept him to the cart while they transported him so that his soft features and highborn speech would not give him away.

The Hunt

He and his kidnappers were tracked by Beka Cooper, Matthias Tunstall, Farmer Cape, and Lady Sabine of Macayhill by means of a dirty loincloth and the scent hound Achoo. By the time Gareth was taken to Fief Halleburn, Gareth's abductors were ready to kill the King and Queen and increased their mistreatment of him, striking and starving him. He was also put into iron manacles, which chafed and became infected, and contracted parasitic infections; all of this resulted in his parents in Corus becoming bedridden. Beka saw him serving wine to Prince Baird and the Lord of Halleburn after she and the other hunters were captured.

Beka found Gareth in the kitchens after she and Farmer escaped from the cells. She escaped with them and a slave boy named Daeggan, and were joined by Tunstall, Lady Sabine, and Nomalla of Halleburn (another lady knight who turned from the conspirators). When Beka realized that Tunstall had betrayed them and intended to kill Gareth, she fought him and mortally wounded him. Shortly thereafter, the conspiracy was exposed and forces made up of the army and houses loyal to the King marched on Queensgrace, Halleburn, and the other treasonous fiefs. Gareth, after having experienced and witnessed so much cruelty and death, had no sympathy and reminded Nomalla how she had hit him when she sorrowed over Halleburn's fall.

Rescue and aftermath

Gareth became attached to Beka during their travels back to Corus. He agreed to try and learn forgiveness when Beka told him he'd learned how to hate, although he wasn't enthusiastic, and appreciated her kindness. Gareth was restored to his parents at the beginning of July. His testimony at the trial of the conspirators took three days, during which he requested Beka to stay at his side for support. After Beka returned to her home in the Lower City, he missed her and was glad to be at her side again at a ceremony to honor her and the others who had rescued him. He shared her desire that slavery in Tortall be outlawed and persuaded his parents to grant that request, and both he and Beka signed the proclamation after Their Majesties.


Gareth succeeded his father as King of Tortall in 278 HE when he was 33 years old. The country was still in the midst of the last two years of what was known as the Era of Civil Wars, a period that was sparked after his father banned slavery in Tortall in 249 HE. He ended the Civil wars by executing the heads of noble houses that rebelled. In order to further his control of the nobility, he had the families of the new heads of noble houses stay at Court for six months, then switched them out with the heads of the noble houses, so that a member of a noble family remained in his grasp at all times.[1]

He ruled for 43 years, and was succeeded by Wylles the Sickly, who may or may not be his son. It is unknown whom he married.

Physical description

Gareth has reddish-brown hair and pale skin. He has golden brown eyes and a soft mouth from his mother, and a beaky nose and hair from his father. While he was held as a slave, his hair and skin were darkened with dyes.


Prince Gareth only appears in Mastiff, the last book in the Provost's Dog series. He is mentioned in Tortall: A Spy's Guide, a companion book to the Tortallan Universe books.

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Tortall: A Spy's Guide, pp. 225-235

See also

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