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The Story of the Heldannic Knights

by Geoff Gander

I think it makes for a better story if we say that certain Hattian worshippers of Vanya (promising fighters and clerics) received dream messages from their Immortal. She told them to secure their birthright (Heldann - their ancestral home, but the Northern Reaches in general, though this works as far as Vanya's concerned, and Heldann/Norwold could also be considered to be part of the "Greater Northern Reaches", but I digress), but before this could be done, they had to secure her sanctified place from infidels. I take it that this was around 925-930 AC.

This sanctified place of course lay in Davania, on the coast of the Gulf of Mar. The boldest and most pious, eager to prove their worth to Vanya, and to show respect for her mortal remains, made a great pilgrimage to that region, as foretold in a dream. They landed after weeks of sailing, and as one force, they stormed the shores, only to find a small settlement, populated by indigenous human tribespeople descended from the Milenians. These people were driven out, their village destroyed, and the entire region was searched until the remains of Vanya were found. The tribespeople would become the Meghaddara, a nomadic people wandering the Meghales Amosses Desert in search of a new home - plaguing Milenian city-states along the way, and also the sworn enemies of the Heldannic Knights

The remains were then reverently placed under a stone cairn, upon which was built the great fortress that Haldemar would later encounter - Vanya's Rest. This fortress is great in size (it must have taken years to build), and once complete, Vanya visited her faithful and told them they had done well, and secured her rest from unbelievers. She then told them that they had to marshal their forces, and return to Hattias, there to bring all who were true to Vanya's Path to the ultimate victory, a home of their own. The fort was probably completed around AC 930-940.

So the Heldannic Knights (as they began to call themselves) returned to Hattias, leaving a battalion to guard the fort. They scoured Hattias, taking every brave man (and woman) along with them on their Great Crusade. Around AC 940-947 their effort paid off, and enough people had been recruited and trained to make an invasion viable (and of course enough ships were built in secrecy to accommodate them).

Finally the invasion was launched, and Heldann was conquered by AC 952, and they publicly declared themselves the Heldannic Knights.