The Crown Wars
As those who begat them, mortals learned to make war. They fought one another, brother against brother in wars that lasted an age. Tales tell of a terrible war for The Crown of The Swordlands that took place 6 -7 hundred years ago. Three great kingdoms of the age waged war without mercy upon one another, in what was effectively a single battle lasting many years.
The Crown Wars saw the rise and fall of no less than seven kings from each of the three houses. The murals of Glorium depict some scenes from the war:
Three kings named Helbör, Harman, and Halfmyr lead their armies against one another. In this gigantic panel thousands upon thousands of warriors are slaughtered. The three kingdoms bear insignia that the adventurers recognise as similar to those on the shields they recovered from the skeletal horde that attacked them in the Nine Mothers Gap: The Wolf, The Stag, and The Serpent. The kings slay one another to be replaced in the mural by their successors, representing a single battle lasting some seven generations. The succession of kings is as follows:
For the serpent: Helbör, Helbryg, Helmüt, Helmyr, Helson, Helgürd, and Helman.
For the stag: Harman, Hardyg, Harmüth, Haringald, Haralmyr, Hardan, and Harald.
For the wolf: Halfmyr, Halfbör, Halfborg, Halfgör, Halfingson, Halfgrym, and Halfdan.
As hate turned to madness, the minds of men set to unleash terrible beasts upon the land. The last three kings of The Crown Wars are depicted summoning these powerful beings:
‘Here is Halfdan, Man-And-A-Half,
Seventh son of Mycklegarth,
Born to war and in war crowned,
Now finds peace here in the ground,
In wrath he broke the sacred seal,
And rent the root of Yggdrasil.’
Halfdan severs the chains that binds a gigantic wolf named Fenryr, which sets upon the armies around it. The party know legends of this creature as an ancient feral monster of the Feywild, or Aelfheim. Fenryr was said to be one of the first lords of Brokenstone Vale, a forest domain deep in the shadows of a mountain pass, in the distant and desolate reaches of the Feywild. Stories of this beast reach back some 800 years or more. Although little is known of Fenryr itself, Brokenstone Vale is now said to be home to lycanthropes.
‘Here is Harald Know-No-Fear,
Seventh son of Thruthgelmyr,
Noble lord in battle torn,
Sleeps forever sorrow-sworn,
When death near loomed and hope had died,
He flung the next gate open wide.’
Sounding his hunting horn as he lies dying on the battlefield, Harald calls an antlered huntress named Angrböde, who cuts swathes through the ranks of warriors. Angrböde is described in legend as an ancient creature of the Formorian, fearsome and malign giants of the Feydark.
‘Here is Helman Fire-In-The-Fen,
Seventh son of Hamingjen,
As darkness fell upon the land,
Blind he was to fates cruel hand,
His kin he gave to save the dale,
And thus the Tearing of the Veil.’
Helman walks hand-in-hand with a young child towards a dragon named Nydhøg, who breathes fire on the armies of all banners alike. Nydhøg was known as an ancient and terrible faerie dragon said to lair in the fens of Murkendraw deep in the Feywild. Her legend is decorated with tales of tyranny and slaughter, only the hag Baba Yaga rivalled her infamy.
When the beasts themselves turned on their masters there emerged a great hero from among the ruined armies of mankind. His name was Rivenhart, and he slew the hellish creatures of mans own making and brought order to the land once more. Rivenhart slays the three monsters Fenryr, Angrböde, and Nydhøg, one after another. He bears a stylised eye on his shield similar to the insignia of the Legion That Waits. King Vingolf is depicted sitting on the throne in a great hall built on the bones of the fallen wyrm Nydhøg. To his right sits Rivenhart, and to his left, Queen Brichta. King Vingolf and Queen Brichta are said to have ruled Himinborg some 500 years ago.