By Vengeance Born
Three centuries ago, a Krieger and his knightly retinue left the shadowed Corpse-Kingdom of Gotterdammerung to pursue a quest that would bring them across the length and breadth of Midworld. This Man was the last of his House, sworn to vengeance and crusade against the Malevolences that guttered Krieger Pendrakken – a minor house so named for the slaying of a Draconic Beast in the ancient days of yore.
When came the Beast’s brethren sent their slaying breath to raze the holdings of Krieger Pendrakken, only one Man would be spared from a horrid, fiery demise.
Gathering ally and comrade to his side, he cast aside all thought of preservation, all thought of self to lay his vengeance to rest. Through fen and fog did they cross, through sand and sea did they traverse, ‘till their journeys had wrought a perfect circle that led them nigh the borders of the Corpse-Kingdom.
It was there that Luther von Pendrakken and his retinue fell upon their foemen and dashed them against the Twilight Mountains. The battles were hard-fought and the enemy was as vicious as they were vile – but valor and honor could not be denied and the blade of vengeance did not relent until its thirst was quenched in the blood of the guilty.
Their quest would be called the “The Wake of Luther”.
Its hero would be called “the First King of the Pendrakken”
Thus it was that Luther von Pendrakken succeeded in his mission but found himself unable and unwilling to return to his homeland. Naught but the ashes of tragedy lay in wait for him in Gotterdammerung.
And Duty Sworn
Thus did he and his retinue wander Midworld once more to seek purpose after their purposes had been thought fulfilled. Luther and his six Knights made much good in the world, shedding light upon many a darkness, bringing hope to many a people and putting to sword many an evil.
The end of their wanderings was nigh when they descended into a hidden vale. They had sworn to a desperate, beleaguered folk to clear it of the fell beasts that made lairs in it and plagued the neighboring settlements. The beasts were soon ended and the settlements were soon saved, but more than destruction and salvation was found by Luther.
Within that vale was a lake and within that lake was a maiden that called herself prophet and goddess both. After surpassing all trial and tribulation that she could bring to bear upon him, Luther was bequothed a kingdom, a lineage and a duty that would provide him with the very rest, the very reward that he deserved – but evil would shadow him and his line always, and hope would ever find fear behind its shoulders.
Luther, blooded from a thousand battles and wearied of a thousand sorrows, beheld the maiden and her prophesies and was smitten as though by the heavens themselves. He set aside his blade and his banner and to this maiden of the lake did he kneel and offer kingdom, lineage and duty but for her hand in marriage and his place by her side.
And she laughed at this, a sound terrible and fair at once. A mortal had dared to court with a god, a turn of fates that not even she had seen in the lake’s mirror.
Then she said “yes” and thus did Akasha of the Lake become his wife. When she left at last, it was only many years later, after Luther had died in the defense of a small village beset by a pack of rampaging demons. Akasha appeared before her dying King and she took the body of Luther with her to the sacred lake, fading into history and myth ere the enemy could find and steal away his corpse.
A Tower Raised
From the glory of his victories and the wisdom of his wanderings did he build a tower and a keep in that vale and called it Lutherion by the Lake. The Kingdom that he and his six knights shape around Lutherion was named after Luther’s lineage – the Pendrakken.
Men and Elves and others were drawn to Luther’s Kingdom and the promise that it bore. His followers grew into great numbers – his Knights had their own retinue to call their own and their own lineages to follow them after they fell.
Evils too were drawn in great numbers to the vale as well, but from Lutherion did the Vale-King sally forth with his knights and his warriors to turn back dark tide after dark tide. There was strangeness to the vale that called to the evil hearts of the world, to foul brigand and fell beast alike. But the Pendrakken persevered, protected and prospered ‘till they became a true Kingdom in their own right.
Thus was wrought the Chivalric Kingdom of Pendrakken, shaped of vengeance, of duty, of honor and of valor.
Thus was wrought the line of Pendrakken, which would be ever fraught with tragedy and peril.
and Bloodlines Razed
The years and the decades and the centuries would pass slowly for the Pendrakken Kingdom. There were wars and insurrections and betrayals and worse, but the line of Luther stayed true through all that they suffered.
Six decades ago, twins were born of a Pendrakken womb – unheard of and unwanted. Valerius and Arcturus were looked alike to most eyes, but Alexander Pendrakken saw ardor in Valerious and valor in Arcturus. The Seven had chosen Valerious to emerge first from the queen’s dying flesh and thus was he crowned heir apparent.
Arcturus and Valerious were close-knit as twin brothers but their destinies would estrange them from one another. Arcturus was given freedom while Valerious was groomed toward kingship. Arcturus’ liberty would gall Valerious to the point that he suggested Arcturus’ exit from Pendrakken in the form of a journey of learning, much as the first Vale-King had experienced.
Alexander acquiesced and sent forth his ten-year-old, second-born son into the world to seek out wisdom, fortune and power, that he may better aid his brother’s reign. Arcturus would not travel alone but be accompanied by one of the greatest and most cunning knights of Pendrakken, Sir Galahad of House Macha.
Arcturus would not return until 40 years had passed and he would return at a time where he was most needed.
Valerious’ reign grew into trouble as he found himself beleaguered by hordes of orcs and demons at his western borders, undead and demons at his northern border and trolls and beasts at his southern border. Valerious’ ardor soon proved unable to weather the circumstances that it required to blossom and he was slain, upon the field of battle against a horde of howling demons.
The Pendrakken’s leadership was usurped by House Vagnar, who bore the sigil of the Nightmare and made certain that no child of Valerious survived their ascension. All the other Houses could not undermine their legitimacy due to the hardships of war and the diluted Pendrakken blood in their lineage. Thus was it done that upon Throne of Scales besat a man that did not have Luther’s get.
A King Returns
Arcturus returned to his Kingdom to find his brother slain and his people in disarray. Civil war raged even as invaders were barely repelled from Pendrakken’s borders. The power of the Nightmare could not be denied, though Tristram Vagnar sat falsely upon the Throne of Scales. Peasantry died from the sword and the plague in great numbers as their protectors squabbled over Kingship and su
The Heraldric Houses of Pendrakken first thought that Arcturus was leading a ragged army of brigands and demons to invade his homeland. But their assumption proved as false as the blooded and wearied Arcturus first assailed the invaders upon Pendrakken, breaking the back of the Jotunbrud offensive before marching to Lutherion of olde, an army of his loyal allies rallying at his banner. No demons led he but Beastlings and Elves and other mortal Races that found in Arcturus an eye unjaundiced by prejudice and xenophobia.
And with the Banners of the Heraldric Houses melded with the legions he commanded, even the armies of Vagnar could not hold Lutherion by the Lake. Tristram Vagnar himself fell to Arcturus’ blade in a duel that would spare more Pendrakken lives and ensure that House Vagnar would not be completely obliterated from the face of Midworld.
The King’s vengeance was unsated by Tristram’s death, however, and though he allowed House Vagnar their lives (in exile), he had Tristram’s children (the would-be royal lineage of the usurper) fostered by the Heraldic Houses and by the Royal court itself. The children would be treated justly and rightly by the King (who would not bear ill will against the children themselves) and those he bade to ward them, but House Vagnar’s exile would be enforced by the lives of their sons and daughters.
A Lesson’s learned.
Vale-King Arcturus rules Pendrakken now, the first of his name and the 10th of his line. It has been 10 years since his return and the shadows of the civil war and the changes he has made still shudder Pendrakken’s foundations. But the people believe in their new Vale-King and the Heraldric Houses are quick to answer the horn of battle when he should call.
Through the influx of new peoples (the Beastlings among them), Pendrakken has entered an era of stability and progress. The scars of the Vagnarian Uprising remain but the wounds themselves have been mostly mended by the brotherhood and the unity that the Throne of Scales espouses.
But Arcturus the Errant believes that Pendrakken’s prosperity is not the end-all of his reign. He seeks a concord between the Kingdoms of the land and the fulfillment of a prophecy that he has learned of while he was abroad.
When Seventh Kingdom does arise;
An Age of Gold will be its prize.
The end to War, the end to Pain,
These will come in Seventh’s reign.
Pendrakken stands at the forefront of a new age, of a new accord that has Freehold at its crux. Alliances have been made and Pacts have been sworn – what will the dawn reveal on the morrow of the Chivalric Kingdom’s horizon?
Update (August 2016):
In the month of August and the Year of 2016 as the Wyrdic Empire once counted it, King Arcturus Pendrakken I was slain while fighting alongside heroes and sellswords within the neutral town of Freehold. He and his allies fought against an Immortal entity named Morrath and the minions of a demonic being named Portia.
Closest in line to replace him is Adrianna Pendrakken, a knight-general within House Pendrakken and a woman more accustomed to soldierly discipline and the management of armies than the politics of court.
Farther away in line but still in the running is Alexius Pendrakken, a man of great influence in the court and a master swordsman. However, he is followed by dark rumors despite the favors he holds from every major House and more than a few minor Houses in the Kingdom