Atlas Rules Resources Adventures Stories FAQ Search Links
I'm translating here below an excerpt from the excellent campaign log Marco Dalmonte ("DM") has been posting for some weeks on the Italian board. The excerpt describes the history of the lost fey kingdom of Frisland, and an artifact, the Eye of Huldra, and makes for an interesting contribution to this thread, IMO. "Abraxas Ayendir" is one of the player characters.
On the Fey of Frisland and the Eye of Huldraby Marco Dalmonte translated by Giampaolo Agosta
Excerpt from the notebook of Abraxas Ayendir, student of the School of Thaumaturgy of Gowola (Frisland), regarding the Eye of Huldra and the Fey.
Eimir 17th, Alphatian Year 1778
The Eye is named for the first Queen of the Fey, the mysterious Huldra, the alleged founder of the so-called Winter Court which ruled Frisland centuries before the Landfall.
At the time, according to Yanni legends, humans and Fey lived together in peace under the enlightened guidance of Huldra, who, thanks to the Eye, was able to foresee and prevent any threat to her people.
The Winter Court was composed by members of all Fey races: sprites and pixies, dwellers of forests and glades; wooddrakes and pooka, masters of shapechanging; tiny leprechauns, craftsmen of the Wee Folk; brownies, kind and hard-working; and last but not least, the true princes of the Fey, the fair Sidhe, similar in physique to elves but vastly superior in power.
Thanks to their amazing magical powers, the Fey made Frisland, then called Fridland (or Land of Peace, in the Yanni language) a true paradise, where humans could raise cattle in green pastures and hunt game in the sprawling forests of the Fairy Kingdom.
Everything changed with the Landfall of the Alphatians, who, according to Yanni legends had used force and trickery to steal the land from Fey and humans.
The Historical Annals of Frisland, compiled by Alphatian scholars, report a different version, where the valiant ancestors of the current rulers of Frisland had entered an alliance with the Fey, to settle in these lands, and were later tricked by the treacherous and greedy Fey, who aimed at obtaining their superior knowledge and their vast treasures.
Anyway, both accounts mention the bloody war between Alphatians and Fey in the V century, which led to the chase of the Fey, mostly slain and finally mysteriously disappeared, and the ascension to power of the first Alphatian king of Frisland, King Berisarde.
Berisarde was a member of the House of Brissard, the first ancestor of the dynasty who had been divinised.
He later founded the Cult of Supremacy, and his dynasty reigned over Frisland for the next nine centuries.
According to legend, Huldra was murdered by Berisarde himself, who took possession of the Eye, used it and passed it on to his descendents to protect the throne.
However, with her last breath, Huldra cast a hideous curse on her assassins, transforming the Land of Peace into the Land of Ice.
Fridland progressively became Frisland: the forests reduced in number and extension, and game migrated to southern wooded lands.
Alphatian historians consider the deforestation and lack of resources of the following centuries more a result of bad management policies by the rulers and a sudden climate shift than a result of actual fey curses.
However, there is no doubt that from that time, Frisland became the coldest and less hospitable region of the entire Alphatian continent.
Later, Fey reappeared several times, trying to hamper the Alphatians and fostering insurrections, sowing chaos and trouble in Frisland.
Finally, in 1000 AY, the Act of Protection was decreed, officially declaring all Fey enemies of the kingdom.
This gives everyone the right to kill Fey without risking prosecution.
From that time, Fey hunting was spearheaded by the Cult of Supremacy, and the Eye of Huldra was used against its creators, leading to the extermination of all members of the Wee Folk that still dwelled in Frisland.
The Eye remained in possession of the House of Brissard, safely held in the royal palace, until AY 1400, when the catastrophe known as the Annihilation of Lagash led to the tragic end of King Gamorghast and his family, as well as the utter destruction of the first capital of the Kingdom, Lagash, and the death of all its inhabitants.
Before the kingdom could fall into anarchy -- before even the Emperor could name a new king, the Primate of the Cult of Supremacy brokered a deal with the Lords that ruled the other Frisland towns, and, with the consent of the Imperial Crown, invested the late king's brother-in-law, Almarath the Seer, as the new king.
Thus begun the dynasty of the House of Hazaran, which rules Frisland to this date.
The capital was moved to Shiell, the see of the Iron Cathedral.
Since that time, the Eye of Huldra disappeared from all chronicles and recorder history.
Theories that attempt to explain why first Huldra and then Gamorghast could not foresee their own defeat are, quite obviously, confused and discordant.
The most widely accepted theories propose that, due to the divinatory powers that allow to see into the future and past, the mind of the user may be subject to temporal dislocation, which, in time, makes it unable to perceive his actual position in the flow of time.
Therefore, it is likely that both Huldra and Gamorghast lost their minds, becoming unable to effectively use the Eye, which, rather than helping them in preventing their end, actually brought it.
Other scholars, on the other hand, believe that the Eye of Huldra might have absorbed or destroyed the Queen of Fey, and then sustained itself with her spirit.
That would be the reason why it later tries to bring on the end of the House of Brissard, which was the cause of Huldra's defeat, and to fulfil her vengeance, it would have caused the destruction of the old capital.
Theories on the powers of the Eye vary wildly from the bizarre to the cosmic.
Some scholar believe that the artifact's powers have been largely exaggerated by Yanni superstition, as the Fey magic could not rival Alphatian knowledge.
Thus, the Eye would likely be an artifact of average power, and Huldra ruled Frisland without problems just because she never faced a real threat.
When the Alphatians arrived, the Fey had to wield to the superior magic of the newcomers, and the Eye had not the power to stop them as well.
The Lagash incident, on the other hand, is still so covered in mystery that it is more likely that its cause was some powerful enchantment by Gamorghast.
"Alphatian supremacy" fanatics dismiss the disappearance of the Eye as a mere accident.
Finally, other attribute to the Eye not only divinatory power, but even time travel powers, in a climax of power that would allow its holder to crush the barriers of reality and reforge the flow of time according to his will.
Even the shape and looks of the Eye of Huldra are matter of contention, a testimony to the fact that no document from the past left a complete description of the artifact, almost confirming its legendary nature.
According to some, it would be a simple silver amulet in the shape of an Eye, holding a gem -- a ruby, sapphire or perhaps an emerald -- or maybe a drop-shaped pendant forged of the ancient eternal ice that covered the planet before the rise of man.
Others propose it could be a crown or diadem, forged in a magical material from the Fey world.
Some even mention the possibility is could be an actual eye, made of some strange living material (and likely as fragile as a common human eye), which should be installed in the user's eye socket to gain its powers -- thus losing sight from an eye to obtain the ability to see the future, matching the theme of the "blind seer" that appears in many human legends.
As to the method for destroying such an artifact, there are no legends to provide hints to its weaknesses.
The only exception is a mention of the attempt by some renegades to "transfix the Eye of King Berisarde by the magic lance that bore the name of Gaebulga."
More, according to the same account, it was that same amulet, worn by the king, which allowed him to avoid the spear blow -- so the method does not appear to be especially effective.
There are, of course, the classical methods proposed in the standard handbook, "Death to the Tyrants: Guide to the destruction of despots, divinities and legends" of the late Professor Bruuthes.
The first and simplest method is still the use of the most destructive element of this world: volcanic magma.
Submerging the amulet in a sea of lava could help in destroying it, or at least putting it permanently out of the reach of those who would use it.
A second, similar method is to expose the item to the cross-fire of five elder dragons.
In addition to the disadvantage of having to gather five dragons of such power, the method also exposes the bearer to the risk of being destroyed together with the Eye.
Another recommended method is to have a Titan, endowed with the strength of a thousand suns, crush the object, or else break it with one of the legendary Alphatian weapons: the Flaming Sword of Ixion, Razud's Mace of Power, or the Heartbreaking Spear of Valerias.
Obviously, this method has the non-trivial problem of recovering another artifact before attempting the destruction of the Eye, which means searching for it (in the case of lost artifacts) or obtaining it from the divine order that protects it (as in the case of the Mace of Power).
The last known and reported method is to use a Sphere of Annihilation -- which can destroy any item created by man or Immortal.
The blackballs, however, are uncontrollable and are found only in the most remote outer planes -- making this method both a difficult and risky proposition.
We can only hope to discover more about the actual powers of the Eye of Huldra once it will be examined by Master Apshai, to collect more hints to its weaknesses.
The last notes that Abraxas reported on his notebook are encoded, and look quite odd:
Whatever the truth about the powers of this artifact, it certainly has a primary role in the events that led to the creation of the kingdom as we know it now, and could certainly be used in the same way by any other noble house.
It is certainly a difficult artifact to control, as the events its was involved it attest, but it could give its holder the power to rewrite history at will.
Currently, it is considered one of the most important lost relics of Frisland, and both the House of Hazaran and the Cult of Supremacy are looking for it, and would pay princely sums to obtain it.