|Gareth of Conté|
|King of Tortall|
|In Own Right|
|Style||His Royal Majesty|
|Start of Reign||278 HE|
|End of Reign||321 HE|
|Predecessor||King Roger III|
|Crown Prince of Tortall|
|Heir to the Throne|
|Style||His Royal Highness|
|Tenure||246 HE - 278 HE|
|Years of Service|
|Noble House||Conté family|
|Ancestors||King Jonathan I †|
|Parents|| King Roger III|
|Descendants|| King Jasson III †|
King Roald V †
Duke Roger †
King Jonathan IV
Crown Prince Roald
Crown Prince Binur
|Other Family||Prince Baird † (uncle)|
|Residence||Tortallan Royal Palace|
|Tortallan Universe character|
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.
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.
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.
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.