The First King of the Fir’bolg
The Fir’bolg have dwelt within the mists of Morread since the inception of their hardy Race. While empires rose and fell, the Fir’bolg have existed among the mud and the blood. Their existence was a hard one, mandated by divinity and reinforced by sheer tenacity. This was home and a true scion of Morread would never be forced from his home – and so they dwelt amid mist and mud and nightmare, hunting and being hunted, fighting and feuding among themselves, praying and sacrificing to their cruel god… until one man united them one thousand years ago.
Some legends say that he was blessed of Cruach when he single-handedly slew a pair of shadow tigers that was stalking the chieftain of neighboring Clan Drustan. The strangest of tellings claim that he was born in blood and battle, that he slew his mother when she birthed him and his father was slain the very same day in a clan skirmish – that he was raised by Morread himself because everyone thought him truly cursed.
The Building of a Kingdom
But all legends agree that Connacht was the First of the Kings of Fir’bolg. They all say he once broke a boar’s neck as it charged him. They all say that he could take the form of mist itself, as he did when he slew 10 mighty champions of the Wildling Clan, Gohhrim, while they kept a vigilant watch over their prisoner’s tent. They all say that was accursed as he was blessed, killing his own bastard son in a duel unknowingly as surely as he had killed his mother.
He was the first and the mightiest of Morread’s sons and daughters and despite his sorrows and his fate, he ruled with wisdom. It was he that united Fir’bolg as a true Kingdom amid the bog. After he had gained mastery of his Clan and brought back a dozen trophies from his raids upon the Jotunbrud, he formed an alliance between the myriad Clans of the Fir’bolg, resolving disputes, feuds and fealties with a wisdom that could only have come from Marriga of the Morrigan.
Treachery and Redemption
Connacht wed Grianne, daughter of Maelcon, stealing her away from her obstinate father and binding by blood the two greatest Clans upon Morread’s bog. Maelcon could do naught but be held by the marriage and lend his numerous forces to Connacht’s will: the unification of Fir’bolg. And a testament to this would be the construction of his capitol, a stone citadel beside the sea of Ordas that would be known as Muirthemne.
Muirthemne would not be finished in the First King’s lifetime, cut short by Maelcon’s uprising. The half-finished walls of Muirthemne would be as a tomb to Connacht himself, who died beside his daughters atop a pile of a hundred corpses – all foemen that wished to ambush him while he was unarmed.
Maelcon took reins of the Bog Kingdom, marrying Grianne to a favored ally. But the Fir’bolg refused to bow to one such as him and the Kingdom quickly sundered beneath his greed and his ambition. Maelcon himself was taken by Jotunbrud raiders while he fled the justice of Clan Drustan, who never forgot the kindness of their true King.
The Accursed City
Grianne ruled through Gohhrim, Drustan and Machta, three Clans that had stood true to mighty Connacht. Each Clan maintained their portion of Connacht’s Kingdom. Grianne and her sons and her daughters would rule from her father’s former clanhold, unwilling to dwell amid the accursed stones of Muirthemne, haunted by ghosts and demons and worse.
It said by many that Grianne and her line ruled with strength and their wisdom, but their reign was a shadow of the glory of what would have been beneath Connacht. It is this sentiment, growing with each generation, that pushed King Bran, seventh King of the Fir’bolg, to attempt the continuance of Muirthemne’s construction. At great cost, he enlisted a Coven of Druids to aid in this endeavor. Old age would claim him before the Coven of Nuath would complete its project, but Bran’s successor would not taste the fruits of his ancestor’s sowing.
The Coven of Nuath struck quickly after the citadel’s completion, using goblins and spirit-beasts to hold Muirthemne as their own. The spells they wove over the city ensured its sanctity against invasion, costing many Fir’bolg lives in the process. Beneath the watchful gaze of the Witch-Queen of the West, the Coven of Nuath subjugated the Fir’bolg and shattered the Kingdom that Connacht had hoped to build.
The Bog Kingdom disintegrated into scattered Clanholds, feuding amongst one another and struggling to survive Morread’s dangers. For 500 years, did the Coven of Nuath keep its hold upon the Bog Kingdom. The Nuathi Druids were a force to be feared for their strength and their wisdom. But for all their lore, all their power and all of their foresight, they did not see the coming of Baelor.
The stories of him were long in the telling before he even came to Muirthemne. He had traveled across the breadth of Midworld. He had crossed the sea of Ordas with his hands and his feet. He had slain the many-headed serpent of Ragash. He had borne the 12 trials of the Cruacha at their best. He won the trusts of wild Gohhrim, noble Drustan, mighty Mactha and even the shadowed Clan of Nemain with its Shaedling sorcery. The trust of Maerla, one of the Druids at Nuatha’s inner circle, was not beyond Baelor as well and many have guessed as to the truth of their bond.
At the head of this army did he march against Nuatha, cleaving through goblin, beast and druid until he faced the Witch-Queen Nuatha herself. Through Maerla and Nemain were the magics of Muirthemne disarmed and she herself led him to Nuatha’s inner sanctum (though against the Witch-Queen she could raise neither blade nor spell).
Red-handed with the blood of her Coven did Baelor face Nuatha, trying to give her no chance to cast her gaze upon him, no chance to rend his flesh apart with a wave of her hand. But the Witch Queen of the West was mighty in her spells and she turned his entrails into snakes, his hands into spiders and his blood into fire.
All this and more did Baelor endure as he took step after step, crimsoned blade in writhing hand, blistering blood gushing from his eyes, his nose and his mouth until he reached the Witch-Queen of the West, drove his blade through her blackened heart and cast her from her stolen throne.
Drustan, Gohhrim, Mactha and Nemain arrived in the throne room hours later and found him seated upon the throne, sword in hand and a new eye in his left socket. And soon after they beheld him, they bent their knees to him and swore fealty to the ninth King of the Bog Kingdom.
There are those that say that Baelor is King Connacht reborn. Those who have seen him fight and say he is Cruel Cruach made flesh. But to those who have been cast beneath his baleful gaze, who have shuddered before his fearsome aspect, he will always be “Witch-Eye”