Low Road: The Tale of Gwardur

A synopsis of the life and times of the King Who Was, Is, and Will Be, Gwardur, High King of Albion,  according to the White Book of Rhendaen, by Dr. Cuthbert Pendleton.

The Tale of Gwardur

In days of old, the Stag Caste, highest clan of the elves, deliberated among themselves and determined that the encroaching barbarian tribes of humans from the Continent made for a genuine threat against Elf-kind. Few times before had such large numbers of humans banded together to invade their lands. The barbarians were coming not just for them but for the humans living on Far Albion as well. It was also said that these Nordic Tribes were led by potent mages in the service of savage gods, increasing the danger.

The Stags called for the Rite of Royalty. Now there was an Elf-touched human in those days who was also an heir of the old empire. He was a great tribal leader and many of clans of men called him king. He was the only human to be held in such high esteem by the Wolves that he was considered an honorary member of the Wyld Hunt. As such things go, the Wolves decide their champion for the Rite by hunt and by trial of arms. As per his rights as an honorary Wolf, Gwardur entered into the contest and won. It was here he won the favor of the lovely elf lady Findabair Nightstone, most beautiful of all elves. She was a Stag who came to oversee the contest and they fell in love.

With Findabair’s guidance, he prepared himself for the Rite by taking hold of Excalibur by the Eternal Anchorite Nimue of the crystal pond and its magical scabbard, which protects the user from all nonmagical injury. Alenras Nightstone, lesser known father of Findabair created a mighty set of armor for Gwardur, and on the day of the Rite, he was bedecked in the finest of armaments. What Gwardur undertook in the Rite is unknown to all, but he emerged triumphant. Then, Emrys highest Stag crowned him and he became King of Elves and Humans alike. With this power, he led the armies of Albionites and Elves against the barbarians and they were victorious.

Some of the Stags saw in Gwardur the chance to establish themselves and enter in some way into the fate of the world once more. They sought to establish his dynasty, in opposition to tradition. Alenras built Gwardur’s empire and crafted many pocket worlds. The Elves chafed at the rulership of a human, and though Gwardur ruled for many years with nobility and pride, the discontent grew greater.

At this time, Gwardur’s lust for power grew and he took his armies to conquer the realms of the Continent. While he was away, Morgana the Fey Lady plotted to orchestrate his downfall. She transformed into a comely lass and seduced Gwardur. She bore him a child and with her foul arts, grew him into Mordred a powerful Elf figure. She returned with a grown Mordred to tell Findabair that Gwardur has been sleeping with some human woman and turned against his true beloved. Mordred comforted Findabair and engaged in unconscionable acts of lust with her.

Many Wyld Elves rallied with Mordred and Gwardur returned home to civil war. Grieved for his daughter’s betrayal, Alrenras sided with Gwardur and war was fought across the pocket worlds of the Eldwood. Findabair stole his scabbard and Mordred dealt Gwardur a mortal blow.

Filled with regret, Findabair took up Gwardur into her arms and took him across the Far Roads to the peaceful shores were he might recover and return one day when his people need him most.


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