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Shortly after the Fall of the Dragon Riders, Lady Marelda took the decision to secede from the former Broddring Kingdom. The ruler of the new "Broddring Empire", Galbatorix, was engaged in securing his rule elsewhere and hence would not join the Imperial Army in the insignificant province of Surda.
Lady Marelda marshalled her forces to attack the city of Cithrí on the northern border of Surda. The relatively weak Imperial garrison was defeated in the attack. The loss of the southern province did not greatly affect Galbatorix's plans, as Surda was still small and weak compared with the Broddring Empire. However, it was this province which would nurture his greatest enemies, the Varden.