The Bear and the Weed
Author's note: Originally, I wanted to reboot the Grecian myth of Persephone and Hades, but with different... Show full author's note »
PrologueThe founding of the two Kingdoms
Once the Children of the Gods began to desert their Temple, the simple folk of Heilagur began to wonder if their religion was indeed true. The Southern Reaches, having already largely forsaken the Gods, refused to listen to the Children’s counsel and demanded their own kingdom with their own council. This was refused by both the Children and the loyal Northern Reaches. Both sides retired to prepare for the imminent war they saw in each other’s eyes.
The Southern Reaches, led by Dairen of the Marble City, one of the Nine Lords chosen by the Children, welcomed the traitorous Children that fled to their land. They had the larger army, more money and the mercenaries from overseas. From Ormini, the land of no religion came ten legions, with their exotic panther-cats. Slaves of the Orminians came to fight for their masters, and there was even talk of the Nomads of the mountains fighting against their Northern oppressors.
The Northern Reaches stood alone, with only a few untrained men and women from the Middlands to fight with them. They had no exotic allies, only their vigour and their loyalty to the Temple and the Children. They were led by Wilhelm the Younger, the Ninth Lord, and Ryder, the Eighth. They counted on the help of the Gods they believed in so much, but it seemed as though they would not receive any.
In the throes of winter the Northerners made their move. Used to the cold and the snow, they made their way across their borders and into the Middlands with incredible ease. They claimed Gods City as their own, and made a new border accordingly. Dairen received word, and with the other six Lords, moved their own army to where the wind bit and the promise of snow blew. They did not dare to risk open war during the depths of winter. Instead they sent Ormini scouts, armed with bows and arrows, to pick off the sentries and send word to the Nomads to move out. They did not get far, however, before the peoples of the Northern Reaches attacked and killed the scouts.
Having heard of the scouts, Wilhelm made the attack. Many died on both sides, although the skill of the Northern Warriors could be surpassed by none. There was no clear winner even after a year of war, and Wilhelm and Dairen called a brief truce. They would meet at the Temple of the Gods to resolve their differences.
All Nine were at the parley, although Ryder was battle-worn and weary. His son, Ryder the Younger, was also present, as were three Counsellors of the Temple. A map of Heilagur was set out, and upon it new borders were drawn. The Northern Reaches were only given an extra two hundred miles, whilst the Southern Reaches were given the rest of the Middlands as well as retaining their own borders. Overseen by the remaining Child, a treaty was struck. One would not attack the other without consulting a Child first.
They returned to their homelands, each triumphant. Wilhelm was declared King by his people, and renamed Wilhelm the Warrior. He made Newford his capital. Dairen was self-proclaimed King when he returned to the Southern Reaches and remained in Marble City, building a new palace in the very centre. He renamed his kingdom Airen, and was set down as Dairen the Diplomat in history. And so the two kingdoms of Heilagur were founded, with the Temple falling into disrepair within the Airen countryside.
-A brief history of Heilagur, by Cortez.