When Belintar died and did not return in 1616, the Holy Country quickly fell apart as a unified kingdom. As not one but two Tournaments of the Masters of Luck and Death failed to produce a successor, the local rulers of the Sixths quickly spun off and charted their own course, although they remained in contact with each other.
In most of the Sixths, the local rulers managed to hold onto their authority – for example, Hendira managed to rule Esrolia from Nochet, the talars kept control of the God Forgot Islands from Talar Hold, etc. However, in Heortland, the ruler of the semi-autonomous Volsaxi tribe (Broyan of Whitewall) proclaimed himself the ruler of the new Hendriki tribe, which encompassed all of northern Heortland.
Meanwhile, in Durengard, Rikard the Tiger-hearted, a Malkioni adventurer from the Castle Coast and his mercenaries proclaimed the existence of the Kingdom of New Malkonwal. This was a largely peaceful coup (imagine something like Baldwin of Boulogne’s takeover of Edessa), and Rikard had the support of the Aeolings. Because his retinue was small, Rikard needed to use diplomatic skills to maintain that support, and married the daughter of a leading Aeolian noble family, and encouraged his retainers to do the same. Rikard managed to procure the service of bands of Malkioni mercenaries fleeing from the growing power of Tanisor. Rikard and Broyan indecisively skirmished over control of central Heortland, but this became quickly irrelevant when the Lunar Army invaded Heortland in 1619. Northern Heortland was quickly overrun (with only Whitewall holding out), and Rikard was defeated in 1620. A thousand romantic tales have come out of the short-lived Kingdom of Malkonwal, spread by both Orlanthi and Malkioni poets. Ironically, it seems Rikard the Tiger-hearted was more far successful as poetic figure than he was as an adventurer.
Broyan, Hendira, and Rikard all cooperated against the Lunar invasion. But they also viewed each other as rivals.