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Due to the destruction of records that occurred during the Trolloc Wars, very little history exists to relate the details of King Buiryn's appearance or the details of his life. He ruled Manetheren during a time of general peace when the Ten Nations had established an alliance against the Shadow. However, even with such a treaty in place, Buiryn - like many kings of Manetheren before and after him - was in dispute with King Aedomon of Safer over sovereignty claims to various stretches of the Mountains of Mist.
In once such conflict, King Aedomon ordered an army into disputed Manetheren territory to expand his dominion. Aedomon led his men through these lands, pillaging and burning, until King Buiryn confronted him at a river crossing named Midean's Ford.
History relates that King Aedomon's force was greater than Buiryn's. Even so, the Manetheren soldiers fought for three days to drive off the Saferi. On the third day of battle Buiryn realized he was facing the danger of defeat. He attempted a gambit and ordered a sortie across the ford, deep into Aedomon's horde, in an effort to break the Saferi will to fight and compel them to retreat. The gambit failed but the bravery of the Manetheren soldiers gave pause to Aedomon who ordered a halt to the fighting so that he might engage in a parley with Buiryn where he agreed to allow the Manetherenite soldiers to depart in peace.
Sensing treachery, an aide to Buiryn advised him to reject the offer. However, Buiryn knew that his force was much diminished in relation to the Saferi and he felt he had no choice but to accept Aedomon's proposal. Sadly the agreement was indeed a ruse, for when Buiryn's remaining forces were halfway across the river they were ambushed by hidden archers and then charged by cavalry. The forces of Manetheren were defeated and King Buiryn was killed.
The Ballad of the Battle at Midean's Ford has survived for over two-thousand years as a common song known by most Gleemen. In the classic telling of the yarn, storytellers unintentionally spin a false account that relates how King Aedomon was emotionally moved by the bravery of Buiryn's soldiers and allowed them to depart back across Midean's Ford in peace. When Jasin Natael sings the song of Midean's Ford to some assembled Aiel at Imre Stand, Matrim Cauthon correctly remembers the last moments of the battle when the wounded Manetheren soldiers floundered in the river's current and perished with Buiryn whilst under fire from the treacherous Saferi.