Saturday, February 04, 2006

Addendum: Hermann of Bjupaž

Hermann of Bjupaž came from a rather prestigious line of gnords who inhabited the Bjupaž Mountains that rose above the northwestern coast of the Mithermere. His father’s father, Tredgel the Farflung, had been a famous wanderer, traveling as far as the Northern Wastes and all the coastlands of the Mere. Hermann’s father shared Tredgel’s wanderlust, and thus determined to explore the Easternmost lands, including Wolmsley Wood. It was there that Šriblat Tredgelsson, chief gnord of Bjupaž, met his tragic end at the hands of the men of Isenwild. It seems that Šriblat had decided he preferred ruling Wolmsley to dwelling, even as chief gnord, in Bjupaž, and had thus set out to conquer the Wood. After his defeat, he was to have been ritually eaten but, like all gnords, he proved uncommonly incompatible with the digestive system.

Hermann, a true descendent of these adventurers, made the study of Isen history his specialty as a youth and determined to visit the fabled lands of his ancestors’ journeys. At the tender age of 339 he set out across the Mithermere. As luck would have it, the current ruler of the Isenwild, Lady Isapheria of Chlougheign, was journeying through her tributary lands at the time of his arrival. Hermann launched a one-gnord invasion of the Gardens of Isapher and captured the Great Parasol of the Chlougheigns which had been housed in Timnel Tower. This same parasol was an heirloom of the Chlougheign women, often described as more powerful than the swords wielded and troops led by their husbands, the thanes of Isenwild. Without it, Lady Isapheria was helpless before Hermann’s schemes. By the power of the Great Parasol he quickly subdued the Gardens to his personal command and installed himself as Castellan of the Timnel and Guardian of the Gardens of Isapher. From there his desire for personal control began to spread and infect Wolmsley Wood.

Taken as he was with Isen history, Hermann soon convinced himself that he was the rightful castellan and that the true Lady Isapheria must have perished in the plague ere he rescued the Timnel from neglect. The more he recounted his preferred version of things, the more he believed it, until his embroidered history was recited with complete sincerity. Unfortunately, his delusion was shattered when three strangers from the east managed to enter the enchanted Gardens and recapture the Great Parasol.

The Gardens themselves were ultimately responsible for Hermann’s end, as an enchanted branch wielded somewhat clumsily by a small boy named Jonathan Grubbley transformed itself into a choking vine that brought Hermann’s ambitions to an end. The Gardens did not, however, entirely forget the great love (for it was great, no matter how twisted) that Hermann had borne for their beauty. Around Hermann’s great body there sprang a new species of flower, Gnordica hermannica, with small blossoms the same indigo blue as that of Hermann’s eyes. The delicate blossom was commonly known as “Hermann’s peace.” These memorial blooms continued forever to flourish on the grassy mound that grew over his resting remains, and there only could they be found, until the fall of the Timnel and the wasting of the Gardens fourteen centuries later.

Perhaps the finest tribute paid to the adventurer’s memory was the fixing of his dazzling iridescent wings to the gates of the Gardens of Isapher by the three warriors who had encountered him in his last battle. In years to come they were eventually included with the Great Parasol in the Chlougheign coat of arms, and as memories dimmed the usurper came to be known as a sometime rightful castellan of the Timnel and faithful servant of the Thanes of Isenwild.


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