Hrestol's knights

From: Joerg Baumgartner (joe@toppoint.de)
Date: Sun 10 May 1998 - 02:18:00 EEST


First a statement of position.

The Kingdom of Logic was changed by Malkion, twice. First Malkion revealed
the caste structure as the ideal way of life for the immortal Logicians.
Then came the Ice Age, and Death, and Malkion had a second revelation which
was rejected by a majority of the Logicians, including (most of) his
children (in some sources he had more than five, but only five founded the
castes).

Malkion and his followers left the lands of Logic, and settled somewhere on
the main continent. Typically it is assumed that this was on Seshnela, but I
have seen no evidence yet for a Seshnegi settlement preceding Froalar's
settlement there. I don't know if Malkion's exodus is the same as Froalar's.
If so, I'm curious about the role the Prophet played in the establishment of
the Seshnegi Malkioni.

The lands of Logic shrinked to the size of Brithos, and that was beset by
ice. The Brithini led a long war against the Vadeli to their south.

The twin sons of Talar, Froalar and Hoalar, argued bitterly about who was to
succeed their slain father (in the war with the Vadeli, IIRC), and Froalar
(the elder by a couple of minutes) chose exile over civil war. He received
land from a Pendali king on the coast of the Neleomi bay.

The Seshnegi Malkioni survived the Darkness, somehow. If Malkion the Prophet
had been with them, he went away during the worst of Darkness, and saved his
people. This may have caused some of his followers to abandon his way, and
to return to the ancient ways - but too late, death and aging had already
manifested. They boarded a Waertagi ship on eastern course, and ended up in
God Forgot.

Those who remained were what I'd call the Old Malkioni - believers in Solace
through a perfect life, even if cut short by death, be it of old age,
disease, or violence. This left an unhappy fear with those less than
perfect, though...

Apropos disease: a terrible disease had struck the Malkioni only shortly
before the Dawn, and had been averted only through the self-sacrifice of
queen Xemela.

At the Dawn, much of this was forgotten for a short while. With the return
of the sun, the sorrows of the Dark and Grey Age were forgotten. Everybody
assumed that a perfect life was possible once again.

Then some idiot of Malkioni lord entered a contest for a Pendali princess -
a wrestling match - and (ignorant of Pendali customs?) slew his opponent, a
Pendali king. Refusal to surrender the culprit started the wars which would
last for more than a century.

The Pendali were about to crush the two Malkioni settlements when Hrestol
had his revelation about the way of knighthood. He started transgressing
caste strictures, and trained in the ways of all castes.

Incidentally, doing so he gained all the abilities Malkion had taught to his
sons...

His prowess in all the castes' professions caused others to follow his
example, foremost Faralz, a soldier who had executed some of the few less
disastrous actions (under some likewise able lord), but including mostly
young lord caste members.

Hrestol finished his mastery of all of the castes before anyone else, and
went on his quest to save his people. He went to the other side, entered the
realm of Seshna and slew Ifftala, daughter of Seshna Likita and ancestress
of the Pendali, source of their land magics. After the deed, he was
imprisoned in the magical forests of Seshna, and remained there for over a
year while his people were ignorant about his whereabouts, or state of
health. The Seshnegi Malkioni were aware that the Pendali had been weakened
decisively, though.

Hrestol's companions strove to achieve knighthood on their own. When the
first had finished, they set out on an expedition to search for Hrestol.
Hrestol's father King Froalar insisted to participate even though he had
undergone no chivalric training.

The rescue expedition was a success because of the participation of Froalar,
but resulted in Seshna's verdict of exile over Hrestol, and Froalar's
marriage to the land goddess after he had gained immortal gifts. Hrestol
went to Brithos, where he married a granddaughter of Duke Horal.

They say "never argue with your gamemaster." What the heck...

Jose Ramos:
>Before his death the only followers he had were the few knights he had
>instaured in Seshnela.

These "few knights" were a total haul-over for both Malkioni caste structure
and Malkioni military. From the source for this time it appears that even
before Hrestol's death (though certainly after his banishment) most Malkioni
leaders were knights as well.

>He did not set up to become a religious model, his life did.

I'm not so sure about this. Little was known about his life after the Dawn.
He was rescued at great cost, then left the country and renounced his
achievements in order to live with his wife's people in a somewhat
unorthodox part of Brithos.

Then his friend Faralz, promoted to an earl of a conquered province, visited
Brithos, fell in love with Hrestol's sister-in-law who was promised to the
King of Brithos, and a drama began which ended in total upheaval of Brithos,
death of the Brithini king by the hand of Faralz, Hrestol's banishment from
there, too, and Zzabur's attempt to combine the rule over Brithos and the
role of supreme sorcerer in his person ending in failure.

Oh, and more trouble with the Vadeli.

>So his death (for caste crime) and glorification swept the
>malkioni, and many brithini with them.

I can believe that Hrestol's death affected the Malkioni, and possibly some
of the Brithini living on the mainland, but hardly the island of Brithos
where a dedicated enemy of Hrestol and his way ruled.

>I think it is better to keep the actual ascension in doubt,

Without physical or magical evidence, you mean, apart from Hrestol's saint's
blessing cropping up some time later?

>and to suppose that a vision able to shatter
>malkionism for ever could move the stone hearts of the brithini.

Shatter Malkionism for ever? I'm not exactly sure about that. The scattered
Brithini mainland settlements (in Waertagi ports) weren't exactly like the
course Brithos took after their king had been slain. It is hard to tell
whether they adhered to Malkion's faction or the Brithos faction anyway,
since not old age but the disease fought by Xemela seems to have been a main
source of death prior to the Dawn.

>A man who is working as a judge among the Vadeli would have trouble finding
>the time to be a charismatic religious leader.

I don't think that his time among the Vadeli was a time of much publicity
among the Malkioni. After Hrestol's best friend, and first knight ever after
himself, had slain the Brithini king, Hrestol and his family (of military
Brithini nobility) had to go under cover. I have no idea how he ended up
with the arch-enemies of the Brithini race, since Hrestol's Saga ends where
the Brithini society gets re-structured by Zzabur.

>I interpret some miracles differently. Despite malkioni fragmentation, all
>the sects but the brithini and the god forgoti have Hrestol in a place
>almost as important as Malkion.

And I guess that the Brithini have Hrestol in a series with Vadel and Arkat.

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