"The wise and noble Count Ephrem Benirus bears the title of Imperial Prefect and governs this fine city at the pleasure of the Emperor."
Astinia Isauricus[src]

Count Ephrem Benirus, also known as the Imperial Dragon,[1] was an Imperial Prefect and ruler of Anvil during the Interregnum.[2] He attempted to invade Kvatch, but was defeated on multiple occasions by Carolus Aquilarios,[1] and was eventually usurped by Pirate Queen Fortunata ap Dugal.[3][4]


Ephrem had originally been count since at least 2E 566, under the allegiance of the Longhouse Emperors. Leovic would often reside in Castle Anvil during the summer months, as the Gold Coast receives pristine weather during those times.[2]

When Duke Varen Aquilarios set off towards capturing the Imperial City and began the Colovian Revolt in 2E 576, he erected a wall around the Gold Coast. He left soldiers of the Second Legion under the command of Count Carolus Aquilarios, the ruler of Kvatch and Varen's nephew. Ephrem, who was still loyal to the Longhouse Emperors, decided to seize this opportunity and sent forces of Anvil to capture Varen's holdings and take control of Kvatch. Carolus rallied the Kvatch Warders and the part of the Second Legion he commanded, commanding them at the plains below the city. The battle was short but fierce, and Benirus' reduced forces retreated to Anvil.[1]

Ephrem commanded the forces to invade Kvatch three more times, but were defeated and returned to the city in smaller numbers than before. After word had reached that Varen seized the Ruby Throne and killed Leovic, Carolus officially inherited the title of count.[1] With Anvil's forces severely weakened, the city was left vulnerable. In 2E 577, Pirate Queen Fortunata ap Dugal, commander of the Red Sails, invaded the city.[3] Fortunata embarked on the docks, and sent her troops to overpower Benirus' remaining forces. Within a day, Ephrem lost his title as count of Anvil and was succeeded by Fortunata.[4]

After his defeat at the hands of the Pirate Queen, Fortunata ordered ivory cameos of Ephrem to be destroyed.[5] Some tax collectors were still charging those who embarked on the docks one-tenth of all gold exchanged, and were ordered by Dockmaster Qamar to increase it to Fortunata's one-fifth rate.[6]



Ruler of Anvil
Bendu Olo 2E 5?? - 2E 577 Fortunata ap Dugal
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