Campaign of the Month: August 2016
Oath of Crows
Everlasting Esus formed the shapeless and formless and made Oran Mór, or the Great Melody, from music and beauty.
Esus emanated a great being named Mathonwy Saturn, called the Creator. Mathonwy Saturn, the Creator, sat in the Center of the World, which is called the Throne of Creation. He formed the world and brought it to life with Spirit. Thus were born the first gods and goddesses.
The perfect harmony of the world was broken by the god named Belatucadrus Mars. The once perfect world was wrinkled with mountains and vales. Rivers brought blessings and disastrous floods. Storms and calm air quarreled. Waters attacked land and made islands and lakes.
Mathonwy could no longer bear to rule over the broken world, for it was no longer the world he had created. He withdrew into the farthest western part of the world and went to sleep. He is still there.
The Deities of the Center were leaderless and came together for council. While they debated Llud came to them and showed he was lord of waters and woods, and master of all the arts. He was chosen as their leader.
Llud settled conflicts and acknowledged the ancient powers of sky and earth, sea and underworld.
He placed Gwynn and Dis and Bran to rule over portions of the Underworld. He placed Annwn to rule over the farthest west and Llyr over the deeps of the sea. Bright Belanos of the east and wed Brigid, goddess of fire and poetry. Belenos patrolled the sky and underworld, so he is now called the golden sun. Arianrhod is the silver moon.
In Salisbury Mara ruled the earth, and she was more often known by her title of Modrun (“Mother”). Other gods of fame are the Five Rivers, whose names are (Salisbury) Avon, Wylye, Nadder, Bourne and Ebble.
Under the rule of Llud the world was populated by the “earthborn”. They are often called “giants,” but this term actually includes all the earth-born whether they were huge or not.
The earliest inhabitants were members of the Earthborn who followed Lord Albion, a giant of the race.
The earth-born races include the Tribe of Dôn, who is their mother. The Children of Dôn are from the east and the heavens, and are the forces of light. From the West and Below comes the Tribe of Llyr who wields powers of water and darkness. Neither tribe is good or bad, but includes both within their number.
Many other tribes of earthborn lived. Among them was a giantess named Albina, who had many great children. One of these, whose name was Albion, seized the Throne of Creation. Thereafter Albion was king, and ruled from the seat now called the Throne of Albion.
Albion and his decided that they would conquer all of the earth. A hundred of them gathered around the Throne of Albion and began a terrible war dance to gather magical power to them. Other Earthborn grew afraid and called upon the gods for help. The gods struck back when Belenos rose up in the east and cursed the giants with his evil eye so they were all turned to stone. They are still there, circled about, in the place called Giant’s Dance.
This brought peace again, and though the world was imperfect, the land was still blissful.
The earthborn built many great enclosures to dance and worship the gods, and of the most famous stands close to Giants Dance. After Albin was destroyed many still met there to dance and play.
Brutus and the Bronze Age
Brutus and his people worshipped their own gods and goddesses. They took and used lands for themselves. The earthborn were jealous and angry and at first fought to drive the humans away. Brutus’ people built their own hilltop forts for defense against their foes.
But Brutus’ people didn’t hate the earthborn. They were happy to make friends and establish pacts whenever they could. They spread through the island, fighting here and making peace there. Brutus had three sons who divided the island among themselves and gave their names to it. The oldest was Logres, and he had many sons as well who settled within his realm.
One of Locris’ sons was named Salis, who settled in the Land of Five Rivers. He wooed and wed the local queen, an earthborn, named Sorviria (Willow). She was the daughter of a great queen who lived inside a hill up the Avon River—Silbury Hill.
Salis’ people built a settlement to celebrate their king’s marriage. Salis named it after his wife. She divided the city into five parts, one each for the druids, the merchants, the farmers and the warriors; and in the center, the nobles. Her younger son, the one who did not become count, built the walls that divide the city into quarters.
When Salis died he was buried beneath a mound outside the city around the Giants Dance, and that is why the plains are called Salisbury. His nobles adopted the same customs and they were also buried there, and it became famous as a burial ground for a long time. Out there now are still thousands of tombs of all types, including the Royal Graveyard of Stonehenge raised by an ancient magician. .
Salis befriended a wise and powerful magician named Sarronius, and gave him a daughter named Eurytion to be his wife. Sarronius who taught Salis’ people the local worship. His son was named Druis, and and founded the sacred order of the druids. Bardus, son of Druis, was the founder of the sacred order of bards.
Druis was especially important to bring peace. He taught the Trojans how to worship in the sacred hill top shrines of the earthborn. Through this practice the newcomers eventually sacrificed to and worshipped the local deities and made pacts and agreements with the earthborn. In that way they integrated themselves into the landscape, and their war against the fae folk became a thing of the past.
When the Trojans had covered the island they called it by the name Britain, named for the great leader and first king, Brutus.
Brutus was the first king, and he ruled in the time that Eli was a judge in the land of Israel. His son Locrinus ruled after him, who gave his name to Logres. Afterwards came twenty three more kings of the Britons, some of whom ruled wisely and some who were weak.
After centuries two royal brothers, Ferrex and Porrux, were supposed to share the kingship but Porrex drove his brother from the island. Ferrex gained the support of King Suhard, a King of Gaul, who brought his warrior band to the island. This warrior band is the first of the iron-using peoples who are modernly called Cymry. Ferrex was killed during the fighting, and Porrex was murdered by their mother for his crimes.
Kingless, the island fell into disorder. The subsequent anarchy is called the “Period of Five Kings.” The newcomers were called the “Ironbearers.” They spread through the island, sometimes as clans or families, and sometimes as conquerors. More often than not they intermarried with the people of Brutus.
Those Ironbearers who came to Salisbury were led by Caradoc, a great hero whose influence is seen in Ancient Vill of the Grove and Grove Hillfort.
The iron of the Cymry was anathema to the earthborn folk who retreated from the world. Many of them were killed and buried in mounds; while others retreated into underground forts where people could not go. Some of them were turned to stone by the gods of the Britons. Some became baleful creatures, like dragons or monstrously sized animals. Yet for all the battles, despite the many wars, many creatures, both blessed and fell, still survive.
At last the hero Dunvallo Molmutius brought peace to the island, both by conquering those who opposed him and helping those who favored him. He thereafter laid down a set of laws to rule everyone equally and built a temple to the goddess Concord in the city of Trinovantum, where he was buried after he died. (The name of the city was later changed by Llud to be called Llud’s town, or in Latin, Londinium).
Despite the laws and temple, Belinus and Brennius, the sons of Dunvallo, warred with each other for many years to see who should be king. Through the pleas of their mother they made peace, conquered Gaul, and then turned their attention to a small city to the south, called Rome. Their actions are noted in Mediterranean history, for they sacked the city of Rome 390 years before the birth of Christ.
Dovulus, the son of Earl Dalogmius of Sorviodunum, was the first warrior over the walls when the Britons sacked Rome. King Belinus rewarded him with the eagle statue that is in the Eagle Market square of the City of the Rock.
Another 47 kings ruled Britain before the Romans came. During this time they sorted themselves out to be the tribes that lived when Caesar attacked.
Roman Era and later
The sack of Rome by Belinus and Brennius was remembered by both friends and foes. After 300 years the emperor Julius Caesar was the first of the Romans who tried to strike back and avenge his people against the Britons who had shamed them. King Cassibelanus rallied the Britons and drove him off more than once. The victory held them off for another 98 years (the reign of three kings), until the time of Emperor Claudius.
The Romans were the strongest, most powerful and proudest people on the whole of the wide earth. They had gone without vengeance for so long that their pent up rage and desire for revenge eventually brought them victory.
Ninteen rulers reigned over Britain from the time of Caesar to Maximus, the last emperor to come from Rome. When word reached the island of the death of Maximus the entire island fell to fighting against each other. The ancient British tribes reasserted themselves. Grudges had been borne for two hundred years, and the warfare of the Cymric tribes began right where it had let off.
Among the great men of that time was Lord Ren of Salisbury. He made the great earthwork that marks Salisbury off from his foes in the north. Any foe that dared cross it paid with his life. Thus Lord Ren kept his lands intact while many great estates disintegrated.