Nuts (and seeds) the Heralds of Winter

Fruit, soft-bodied, must be enjoyed while fresh. While the hard encasing of nuts and seeds means they’ll store for winter. Like these . . .

Mallow seeds

Seeds of the common mallow taste just like peanuts

Acorns

Fruit of the oak. These can actually be eaten but require something like three months of processing to remove the bitter tanins. Yet our ancestors ate them . . . before they discovered the convenience of grain.

Hazel nuts

These hazel nuts aren’t yet ripe. And being pale they’re reflecting the day’s strong sunlight.

Horse Chestnut

Chestnuts . . . but not the edible ones. Within these stubbly husks of the horse chestnut are nuts better known as conkers. Boys fight battles with them.

Large Leaved Lime

The linden tree (though strictly speaking that’s the small leaved lime while this, clearly, is the large-leaved version). In spring when in flower it is heavy with bees collecting pollen. Now, in early autumn, it is heavy with ‘keys’.

Ash Keys

It’s not only the lime heavy with keys. These are of ash, and are slightly more ripe than in the next shot, taken earlier this summer

Ash Keys Unripe

I couldn’t resist the shot, I loved the colours of the young ash keys

Sycamore and Red Admiral

This time of year butterflies seem kinda drowsy allowing this bonus shot. The tree is a sycamore. The butterfly is a red admiral

Field Maple

And the very definite ‘wingedness’ of the field maple’s keys

Hogweed

Since I started with an herb, I’ll finish with one. This is the seed head of hogweed (featured previously in ‘Rhapsody in Pink’), a humble plant much beloved by rabbits.

My next photo-blog will very likely feature cliffs, and the sea. I’m away on a holiday, though nowhere exotic, just a different patch of Norfolk to walk.

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The Fruits of Summer

As September draws to a close many a lane is scarlet-studded as bush and tree yields its annual flush of fruit. Here are some, though not all scarlet.

Hawthorn

The hawthorn. This year this small-growing tree is heavy with haws . . . which miraculously the birds haven’t yet stripped. Though that could be cos they prefer the sweetness of this next one . . .

Elderberries

I had trouble finding an elder-tree that still had fruit and not just stalks. But it’s not only a favourite of the birds. It makes great jam. And wine.

Elderberries Gone

One sadly stripped tree!

Rose Hips

Another favourite for jam-making. And rose-hips are literally jam-packed with vitamin C

Rowan berries

The rowan tree (aka mountain ash) is another small tree heavy with red berries this year.

Honeysuckle berries

And while with the red berries, these are the fruits of the honeysuckle (featured in a previous blog). Though the berries aren’t poisonous except in large quantities, I, for one, would not recommend eating them.

Lords-And-Ladies

This one you definitely don’t want to eat. The berries of Lords-And-Ladies are HIGHLY poisonous

Black Bryony

At this season the black bryony festoons our hedgerows . . . with exceedingly poisonous berries. I particularly like how berries from green through to red all appear on the same runner.

White bryony

It’s the same plant. Right? Wrong. This is white bryony. But it’s equally as poisonous. (Note the difference in leaves: black bryony leaves are heart-shaped)

Haws, black bryony, sloes

The blackthorn’s ‘sloes’ (as used in sloe-gin) are here bracketed by the scarlet festoons of black bryony and the haw-heavy branches of hawthorn. Just into shot are some ivy flowers, so that means more berries, but not till much nearer Christmas

Guelder Rose

Keeping with the red, this, the guelder rose, has become popular with local farmers of late. It seems to edge their every field. (ok, I exaggerate!) But beware, for bark, leaves and berries, all are poisonous.

Sea Buckthorn

This one isn’t poisonous. These brilliantly orange berries can be used to make marmalade. It’s sea buckthorn, and as its name implies, it’s only found close by the sea

Blackberries

Moving from red to purplish-black . . . blackberries. And as with the hawthorn and rowan, the hedges are heavily laden this year.

Bullace (wild plum)

Purple . . . the wild plum, aka bullace

Dogwood - ripe

Another black berry (bitter, don’t go near), this of the red-stemmed dogwood. Compare with the next photo taken earlier this summer.

Unripe Dogwood berries

And another month or so these leaves will turn crimson and blaze our roadsides

Crab Apple

And what would a hedgerow be without the humble crab apple? These are crying out of a nasty belly-ache!

While many of the hedgerow berries are edible, SOME are not. So, if in doubt, keep it out of the mouth.

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The Cuckoo Child

Kings Wife 1I knew she was a cuckoo. So I said, as soon as born I’d take her to the wilds. But, ouch! did Kastea scream at that: No, I couldn’t do that! I grunted, why not?

“You’ll offend her father. He’ll think we don’t want her.”

Then he’d think right, I didn’t. My wife was for birthing my children, not his. I worked hard to keep the flesh on my family, I shouldn’t have to work hard to keep it on his.

But after Kastea had told me how it had happened, the horror and terror of it, I agreed she could keep it and as soon as I could I’d beget another on her. I said—though not out loud—if because of mine the cuckoo goes hungry then, well, maybe that’s a way to be rid of her.

Abelea’s birth raised some brows, being so soon after the cuckoo. And now we had three: Abelea, Bregan and the first born Oalys. That should have been enough but they kept on coming: Argoin, Tren and Gaitha, though Gaitha died when the Darkness came. Kastea hadn’t the milk for her. One child, that’s all we lost. Others lost more. I even managed to keep some of the stock, including a dog. But then, dogs feed themselves, don’t they.

By then Oalys stood as a man; that helped. We two set out most early mornings . . . we’d that many mouths to feed. Though by the time we thought to do that the Darkness had already been two triks with us. Not that we ever were sure if it were day or night, not with the Darkness hiding Sauën’s face. We never saw Palamon, not once during the Darkness. At least sometimes Sauën could be seen, if only by the ghastly colours in the sky. Some said that wasn’t Sauën at all, they said it was all of Draksen’s doing. Not that we saw many people during that time. No one wanted to travel far. In that I wasn’t alone.

It weighed heavy on me, this need to travel. Yet how else to deliver Bregan to Mistress Maia. Though, it wasn’t only the travel.

“So,” Maia had asked on my first visit to the King’s Hold after Bregan’s birth, “is it a girl?”

I should have told her then that Bregan wasn’t my daughter, that she’s a cuckoo, her father one of the woodland daen. And there she was, suckling at Kastea’s breast when it should have been my child there.

“I’ll have her as soon as she’s old enough,” Maia said.

“What if she doesn’t live so long?” I said.

But at least now she was to go to Maia we had no worry of finding a man for her. She could grow up fat and hairy or scrawny and pale, it made no difference. She wasn’t intended to be a wife. She needn’t be juicy-plump. She needn’t be fair. She needn’t have long red hair. She needed no skills and crafts like the other girls—though, of course, she had them, gotten from helping Kastea.

Bregan would do that— help Kastea. At least, mostly she would. Other times, though, she refused, taking herself off alone to we didn’t know where. I’d watch her go, refusing to heed her mother’s call. I’d watch till she was out of sight, silently hoping her father would find her and she wouldn’t come back. I didn’t like myself for thinking like that. Kastea would have mourned her. Even though she wasn’t my child, she was Kastea’s.

Yet for all I wanted her gone it was difficult not to like her. Even as an infant I found myself wanting to pick her up, to hold her, cuddle her. By the time she could walk she would cast me a smile and any wrong she’d done in a flash was forgotten. I sometimes thought her Sauën’s child for, I swear, her smiles shone bright as the sun. And she smiled a lot. She seemed always happy. Truly, I don’t remember her ever crying.

My conflicting regards for her held me in a tight cleft. I didn’t want her there, she wasn’t my child. Yet far from being a trouble, she was a help. She seemed to know what Kastea wanted, without Kastea having to say. And as my own children grew, demanding more of their mother, how could I complain of that.

But now I had this journey to make, to deliver Bregan to Mistress Maia at the King’s Hold on the Highlands of the Sun. Without the Darkness it would have been easy, it wasn’t far by river-boat. But to go by river-boat during this Darkness? The rivers stank enough to fetch up your feet. According to the law-men it was all the dead things in the water. Dead things in the water? Dead things were everywhere. Dead things and flies.

Had the Darkness not come I’d have kept my promise to deliver Bregan to Mistress Maia when she came of age. But now? No way would I venture down-river. And the alternative, to go by the Broadway, was little better. Though there’d be only the one river to cross (by the King’s Hold), the walk wouldn’t be easy. And we would have to walk. So, I still had some cows but they weren’t used to the yoke. If I had kept the old oxen . . .

I might have walked but with night creatures everywhere, thriving and multiplying in this awful pall, I couldn’t ask it of Bregan. Neither was it only them. Noxious spirits lurked close to every small water, not only the rivers but the meadows alongside them. And the packs of ravening wolves—we heard their howling day and night. More, bloated rotten corpses lay wherever they’d died, attracting flies that rose in angry swarms when disturbed. How could I expect her to walk amongst that? When with every step she risked putting her foot into something loathsome?

And so I put off the deed, daily rehearsing my excuses to Maia. Aye, the girl had seen the years but the Mother had yet to touch her. Only that wasn’t true, as Maia would’ve soon discover. Dare I tell her the truth: that I was afraid to travel to the King’s Hold in the Darkness?

I had almost convinced myself that Bregan wouldn’t yet be needed when the king’s law-men came by our hold.

As the law-men explained, they’d been sent out around the land to announce to all that the Old King was dead. Killed by the truvidiren.

I said, “Aye, of course he’s been killed. Did he defend our land against this dragon Draksen? No, he failed us and so he must die.”

But I didn’t envy them their task: from West Alsime Land in the south to Meksuin’s Land in the north, from the Point in the east to Blisa Go in the west—though not to the islands. No one ventured overseas while the Darkness hung heavy. They’d have been lost in monotonous blackness.

They said, “Now a New King must be chosen.”

I said, “But of course, that’s the way.” Why were they telling me this? That was the business of the truvidiren.

But they said, “Of all the truvidiren, none has put forward a likely candidate.” And in all the years of the Alsaldic Kings this never has happened. Always one or another of the truvidiren had been directed by Saram to present the true heir.

I didn’t need the law-men to explain the problem. Saram, hidden by the wings of Draksen, could no longer guide the truvidiren and so another means must be found to find the true heir.

“A contest,” they said. And this was the true reason for their visit: to announce the Games.

After their visit I pondered long. For if there was to be a New King, there would be a New King’s Feast. And that meant Mistress Maia would be busy brewing the King’s Beer. Yet, I told myself, she has her brew-women to help her and they live to hand on the Central Highlands; they’ve no need to cross a river. But a voice within me wouldn’t allow it. A brew-woman isn’t the same as a King’s Wife, and that’s what Bregan was to be. Maia was to train her, and in time our Bregan would replace her, be Mistress Bregan. And that’s what had weighed so heavy on me. For the King’s Wife looks to her brother’s daughter for her apprentice, the one who’ll replace her. That’s the way it has always been. I should have told Maia from the start that Bregan wasn’t mine, that she was a daen’s child.

I could not claim ignorance, vague recollections of Aunt Melea coming to claim my sister—though at the time I was distracted, chasing after Kastea. I had wanted her from the first meeting. Such a beauty, she should have been the Queen—except the King already had Queen Yoisea to sit beside him.

No, I should have told Maia when first she said of taking Bregan. I should have said for her to take one of Oaln’s daughters instead—except that Oaln hadn’t even a wife at the time, and maybe he’d never have a daughter. And if I’d told her of Bregan maybe she’d have taken Abelea instead. I didn’t want her to have Abelea.

But it was wrong for Maia to make Bregan her heir to the craft; triply wrong that I’d said nothing of it all this time. Yet if I spoke now she’d take Abelea for certain, my brother Oaln still having no daughters.

Such was my dilemma; why I held back, why I blamed the Darkness of Draksen when in truth it was because of my guilt. I wonder how long I’d have waited had it not been for a stranger appearing out of the Darkness.


Who is this stranger? And what role has he to play? Is he to act as a catalyst, to spark Bregan’s cuckold ‘father’ into delivering his promise? Or does his presence signal something more ominous? See the next episode: The King’s Beer, Tuesday 27th September.

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The Alsaldic Calendar and its Deities

To help you follow the history given in King’s Wife, A Prelude: It will remain available on the King’s Wife Menu.

Alsaldic Calendar

Trikadents and Decans:

The solar year is divided to 12 x 30 day divisions known as trikadents
Each trikadent has 3 decans, the decan being a 10 day period.

The first 9 days of each decan are sacred to the Mothers (of which there are 3), the 10th day to Saram.

 

decans-and-deities

With the Moon Feasts counted as additional to the 30 days of their trikadent (i.e. Geniste, Sammeste, Kerbast and Kassis each have 31 days), and the Solar Feast of the Long Night falling between Daviste and Ulquiste, this brings the total days in the year to 365.

Moon Feasts:

  • Feast of Grounding
    Held in Geniste trikadent, sacred to the Mothers & Palamon
  • Feast of Trees
    Held in Sammeste trikadent, sacred to Beli & Saram
  • Feast of Harvests
    Held in Kerbast trikadent, sacred to Kelis & Sauën
  • Feast of the Slaughter
    Held in Kassis trikadent, sacred to Uät & Beli

The above feasts are celebrated at the full moon and move through their trikadent from year to year.

Solar Feast:

There is only one sun-feast: Feast of the Long Night, held at the winter solstice (aka ‘Fulcrum of the Year’); it is sacred to Saram and Sauën.

A celebration of creation, it often becomes the cause of pilgrimage.

The Great Cycle:

59 years comprise s Great Cycle: six decades (the final group has only 9 years). Each decade is sacred to a deity.

Great Year and The Deities

The Deities . . . 

Saram:
The god of the wide blue sky, sees everything, hears everything, thus is witness to contracts and oaths. He is credited with granting our most soft-spoken wishes—though not always in the way that we want.

Sauën:
The sun, Seed of Saram, the deity of grains and the granaries. She is mother of Beli, some say by Palamon, her brother, the moon.

Uät:
The original Lord of Uäth (which word means cave, the Netherland, the place of death). Uät is the truvidir’s guide; the giver of knowledge who inspires and arouses spiritual awareness

One story of Uät accounts him the primal dragon, first cause of life who was sent to Uäth when Beli ‘killed’ him.

Beli:
Son of Sauën, Beli is the four-fold Fire: fire from the sky (lightning); sacred fire (the pyre to send the soul on its way, & the altar where sacrifices are made); domestic fire (for warmth, protection and nourishment); blood-fire (passion, enthusiasm, battle-fury).

He is also called Lord of the Dead or King of the Land of the Shining, where his governance reigns

Kelis:
Originally a storm god (winds, lightening, rain), Kelis later became Lord of the Land of the Dead until ousted by Beli. He is a twin, though no one knows who’s his other half.

Palamon:
The moon, (aka the Luminous One), brother of Sauën, some say father of Beli.

The Mothers:

  • Genet, the One Who Gives, sacred to her are babies, sweet waters and fishes
  • Queglan, Bright Mother, aka Sauën, whose light protects us and serves as a life-guide, whose warmth brings comfort and makes ripe the fruits and grains that sustain us.
  • Devone, Old Mother Death who in pointing her finger cuts the thread
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Alsaldic Map Madness

Another fantasy fiction about to begin, another excuse to draw maps. You might like to use these in conjunction with today’s post, King’s Wife, A Prelude. They will remain available on King’s Wife Menu

Alsaldic Empire

Alsaldic Empire Map 2

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King’s Wife, A Prelude

Kings Wife PreludeThe serialised story Alsalda concluded when Commander Horsemaster Krisnavn became the first Alsaldic King. Now a new Alsaldic story is about to begin. King’s Wife.

King’s Wife is set some six centuries on when the cultural changes wrought by Clan Querkan have had time to crystallise, when new beliefs have taken root, when new laws apply . . . when the ancestral heartland of the Alisime people (now known as the Alsimuk) have become the core of a flourishing empire. Told by seven different witnesses with seven different agendas, they offer seven different views of the calamitous events revolving around the King’s Wife that lead to the fall of that empire.

As a prelude (rather than prologue) you might care to peruse this excerpt taken from the truvidiren’s Alsaldic King Lore (relax, there’ll be no exam at the end).

Troubled by the unfamiliar calendrical dates? See the Calendrical Supplement.
The accompanying Map of the Alsaldic Empire might also prove helpful. Both will remain available on the Kings Wife Menu.

Alsaldic King Lore

7 Uät:
The FIRST Alsaldic King was King Krisnavn, son of Saram; before him there were no others. Reigned 13 years.

In those days the followers of Kerdol the Younger held the western portion of this land. Saram brought Krisnavn to Albinnys to defeat and destroy the Kerdolan, and this he did. Thereafter he held all the lands as Reksan Albinnys Saramis.

During his reign was built the first King’s Hold, on the Highlands of the Sun and the islands of Bukfreha, Ablabran, Bajapa and Sapapsan were sealed and ancestor-stones set to guard them.

And during his reign Clan Querkan came from overseas and settled in a small part of West Alsime Land thereafter known as Querkslunt.

And during his reign:—

  • Clan Burnise was given the governance of Anyo Dlida in Banva Go; Lord Sulyns ruled that land in the name of Reksan Albinnys Saramis;
  • Clan Duneld was given the governance of Ul Dlida in Banva Go; Lord Lukenys ruled that land in the name of Reksan Albinnys Saramis;
  • Clan Bukplugn was given the governance of West River Gate and the lands of its holding; Lord Judelden ruled those lands in the name of Reksan Albinnys Saramis;
  • Clan Mandatn was given the governance of South Eskin Head in South Eskin Land; Lord Burtamens ruled that land in the name of Reksan Albinnys Saramis;
  • Clan Tamesen was given the governance of the island of Liënershi; Lord Boat-master Tamesen ruled that land in the name of Reksan Albinnys Saramis;
  • King Paölen of Clan Meksuin was given the governance of the Three Holds (that is the islands of Saria Go, Emiso Go, and Mo Ria in Banva Go). King Paölen swore oaths to King Krisnavn that he would follow the Laws of Saram and submit to the judgements of Reksan Albinnys Saramis. The Three Holds thus became a kingdom subject to the Alsaldic King.

1 Palamon:
The SECOND Alsaldic King was King Hegryn, son of Trader Takenn, son of Advisor Buteld of Clan Luktosn. Reigned 20 years.

During his reign were built the King’s Holds at East and West Bounds, and an alliance was entered with Chief Durfenken of Bayland.

And during his reign the province of Cobi Go in North Eskin Land was by mutual agreement placed under the governance of the Alsaldic King. Lord Golafin was its first Provincial Governor.

2 Saram:
The THIRD Alsaldic King was King Krisen the Black, son of Glanys, son of King Krisnavn; nephew of Truvidir Bylys. Reigned 15 years.

During King Krisen’s reign were built the King’s Holds at North Bounds and South Lands.

And during his reign people from West Alsime Land settled in the lands around Ul Dlida and Anyo Dlida. Law-men were sent to administer the laws, and truvidiren to be judges alongside the governors of these two subject lands.

And during his reign a lengthy battle was fought and thereafter Du Dlida became part of the Alsaldic Lands. Clan Bukplugn was given the governance of this holding; Lord Kerenys of Clan Bukplugn ruled that land in the name of Reksan Albinnys Saramis.

In the following year Taca Riöri yielded to the Alsaldic King without resort to battle. Clan Bukplugn was given the governance of this holding; Lord Isvryn of Clan Bukplugn ruled that land in the name of Reksan Albinnys Saramis.

6 Kelis:
The FOURTH Alsaldic King was King Martys, son of Lord Marden of Ul Dlida. Reigned 31 years.

During his reign alliances were made with Chief Negraken of the Murling, Chief Silelden of the Drummings, Chief Munthan of the Ford: all provinces of the White Lands.

And during his reign the Regiment was sent in aid of Chief Silelden of the Drummings. After a lengthy and bloody battle Chief Nameb of Krakhet in the White Lands surrendered to Chief Silelden of the Drummings.

7 Palamon:
The FIFTH Alsaldic King was King Murdys, son of Muren of Clan Krisvin. Reigned 25 years.

During his reign law-men and truvidiren were sent to King Tavric of the Three Holds.

And during his reign the Regiment was sent in aid of Chief Sildys of the Drummings in the White Lands. During three days of battle against the men of the Ford all but five of Chief Sunthor’s men were killed and Chief Sunthor was mortally wounded; thereafter the men of the Ford surrendered to Chief Sildys. The following year the Regiment was sent to the aid of Chief Sildys of the Drummings in the White Lands. Chief Legkrek of the Murling defeated the allied forces; the Regiment withdrew. No surrender was made. The following year the Regiment was sent against Chief Legkrek of the Murling in the White Land. After a long battle Chief Legkrek was defeated and surrendered to the Alsaldic King.

And during his reign Chief Legkrek swore oaths to King Murdys that he would follow the Laws of Saram and submit to the judgements of Reksan Albinnys Saramis. All of the White Lands (that is the Drummings, the Murling, the Ford and the Krakhet) thus became a kingdom subject to the Alsaldic King; Chief Legkrek was named its king.

3 Kelis:
The SIXTH Alsaldic King was King Megrandos, grandson of Lord Kerenys of Du Dlida. Reigned 19 years.

During his reign the adjoining provinces of Blisa Go and Eli Go were brought under the governance of the Governor of Du Dlida without the need of battle; law-men and truvidiren were sent into these subject lands to administer the Laws of Saram and to make judgements.

And during his reign the adjoining provinces of Fifi Go, Anyo Cobi and Ani Cobi were brought under the governance of the Governor of West River Gate without the need of battle; law-men and truvidiren were sent into these subject lands to administer the Laws of Saram and make judgements.

2 Palamon:
The SEVENTH Alsaldic King was King Burleth of Clan Mandatn of Querkslunt. Reigned 35 years.

During his reign the North Eskit provinces of Anu Ce, Eli Emiso and Un Dli, after long negotiations and by mutual agreement, were placed under the governance of the Alsaldic King. Lord Dlysa was appointed the first Provincial Governor of Anu Ce; Lord Dulas-beya was appointed the first Provincial Governor of Eli Emiso; Lord Riosva was appointed the first Provincial Governor of Un Dli. Law-men and truvidiren were sent to these provinces to administer the Laws of Saram.

And during his reign the Regiment was sent in aid of King Beldrit of the White Lands in many battles against Chief Nordath of the Wetlands in the land known as the Broken Hand. After a lengthy campaign Chief Nordath was killed in battle; thereafter the men of the Wetlands surrendered to King Beldrit; Chief Linthan, cousin of Chief Nordath, was named as King of the Wetlands under King Beldrit of the White Lands.

And during his reign the Regiment was sent in aid of Chief Fronde of the Point in the Land of the Broken Hand in battle against Chief Grinik of South Drumming. After Chief Grinik was killed in battle his brother Chief Luist swore allegiance to Chief Fronde of the Point and the Regiment withdrew.

8 Kelis:
The EIGHTH Alsaldic King was King Mamspik, son of Burleth of Clan Mandatn.
Reigned 11 years.

During his reign was received a request for aid from Chief Drefith of the Point in his battle against Chief Linthan of the Wetlands but the Alsaldic King was unable to respond. The Regiment was sent to aid King Belopore of the White Lands, who used the Regiment in support of Chief Linthan of the Wetlands against Chief Drefith of the Point. After Chief Drefith was killed in battle, the men of the Point surrendered to Chief Linthan of the Wetlands. Chief Linthan of the Wetlands was reaffirmed as the subject of King Belopore of the White Lands.

And during his reign the Regiment was sent to aid Chief Linthan of the Wetlands in his battle against Chief Luist of South Drumming. After Chief Luist was killed in battle the men of South Drumming surrendered to the allied force. Chief Grecht, cousin of Chief Luist, swore allegiance to Chief Linthan of the Wetlands.

Five years after this battle Chief Linthan of the Wetlands rebelled against King Belopore of the White Lands. The Regiment was sent in aid of King Belopore; Chief Linthan and his men were defeated. King Mamspik set his son Kudnon to be King of the Wetlands, subject only to the Alsaldic King. Chief Grecht of South Drumming and Chief Tolson of the Point swore allegiance to King Kudnon. Thereafter peace ensued.

9 Uät:
The NINTH Alsaldic King was King Marynt, son of Lord Truben of South Eskin Head. Reigned 3 years.

In the third year of King Marynt’s reign the crops failed and many people died.

2 Sauën:
The TENTH Alsaldic King was King Paölyn, nephew of Lord Hiperst of Ul Dlida. Reigned 30 years.

During his reign many boat-loads of grain were brought from the lands of Banva Go.

9 Beli:
The ELEVENTH Alsaldic King was King Kristyn of Clan Luktosn. Reigned 17 years.

During his reign the Regiment was sent to defeat the rebels of South Eskin Head and the lands thereabout under the governance of Lord Venklyn. The rebels were defeated. Lord Venklyn was replaced by Lord Murim of Clan Luktosn.

6 Kelis:
The TWELFTH Alsaldic King was King Nigheän, cousin of King Manslip of the Three Holds. Reigned 4 years.

In the fourth year of King Nigheän’s reign the crops failed and there were many deaths.

10 Kelis:
The THIRTEENTH Alsaldic King was King Judel, brother of Lord Murim of South Eskin Head. Reigned 9 years.

During his reign many boat-lands of grain were brought from Mo Ria in Banva Go, from the lands of the South Eskin, from the lands of the North Hiëmen, and from Gouslunt.

And during his reign tribute was received from the North Eskin provinces of Cobi Ria, Enir Boëme, Cobi Fu, Adly Ce and Anyo Lia. Truvidiren were sent to these dependant provinces in order to appoint governors; law-men were sent to these provinces to administer the Laws of Saram.

1 Sauën:
The FOURTEENTH Alsaldic King was King Kethir, brother of Lord Luënet of Ul Dlida. Reigned 27 years.

During his reign truvidiren were sent to the lands adjoining Ul Dlida and Anyo Dlida, and law-men to administer the Laws of Saram.

8 Beli:
The FIFTEENTH Alsaldic King was King Corpeth, son of King Klevis of the White Lands. Reigned 12 years.

In the twelfth year of King Corpeth’s reign the cattle were blighted by evil spirits and failed to yield milk. Great was the slaughter of herds. In the lands of Bayland, the White Lands and the land known as the Broken Hand, few herds remained untouched by these harmful spirits. The herds of South Eskin Head, Liënershi and Anyo Dlida were also affected.

1 Kelis:
The SIXTEENTH Alsaldic King was King Belavin, a son of Clan Querkan. Reigned 11 years.

During King Belavin’s reign gifts of bulls and cows were sent to all the governors of the Alsaldic Lands as also to the subject and allied kings.

And during his reign the Regiment was sent to aid King Rosteros of the land known as the Broken Hand in battle against the Men of the Marshes who had been harrying the bounds of the Broken Hand where they lay along the Water of Waters. The Men of the Marshes were defeated. King Belavin sent his brother Asequon to rule over the Marshes and be subject to the Alsaldic King.

When King Asequon had reigned over the Marshes for three years, he requested aid from the Alsaldic King to defeat the Men of East of the Way who were harrying the west bounds of the Marshes. The Regiment was sent and the Men of East of the Way were defeated. Chief Hudren, cousin of Asequon, was set over the Men of East of the Way and made subject to King Asequon.

2 Uät:
The SEVENTEENTH Alsaldic King was King Myorlis of the North Eskit province of Adly Ce. Reigned 37 years.

During his reign the Regiment was sent to the aid of King Kersnequon of the Marshes in East Isle to fight against the Men of East of the Way, Chief Hudren having died and no other chief set over them. The Men of East of the Way were defeated and King Rudris, nephew of the old King Belavin, was set over them as subject to the King of the Marshes.

When King Rudris had reigned for nine years he requested aid from King Kersnequon of the Marshes against the Men of the Heath who were harrying the east bounds of East of the Way. King Kersnequon requested aid from King Myorlis who sent the Regiment. The Men of the Heath were defeated and King Myorlis set his cousin Chelis over them as King as subject to King Kersnequon of the Marshes.

9 Beli:
The EIGHTEENTH Alsaldic King was a false king; his name is not to be remembered. Reigned 45 years.

5 Palamon:
The NINETEENTH Alsaldic King was King Ulquister, son of King Kersnequon of the Marshes. Reigned 24 years.

During King Ulquister’s reign the Regiment was sent to aid King Dureld of Bayland in battle against the rebels of the White Lands. After many battles along the east bounds of Bayland, the rebels of the White Lands were defeated. King Drafet, nephew of the former King Dretfet, was set over the White Lands as subject only to the Alsaldic King.

And during his reign the Regiment was sent to aid King Chelis of the Heath whose land along its northern bounds was harried by the Men of the Lowlands. The Men of the Lowlands were defeated after many battles along said bounds. King Turles was set over the Men of the Lowlands as subject to the King of the Heath. Thereafter for ten years peace ensued throughout the Alsaldic Lands.

And during his reign the Regiment was sent to aid King Ventan of the Marshes in his fight against the Nritrin of Ertlund on their unwelcome invasion. King Ventan also received as aid men sent by all the kings of East Isle (that is men of King Turles of the Lowlands, men of King Miorlis of the Heath, men of King Balnor of East of the Way and the Men of the Estuary). The Nritrin were driven out of the lands north of the Water of Waters. The Men of the Estuary now seeing the value of having a king set over them asked King Ventan to set a king over them and for that king to be subject to King Ventan. King Ventan set his sister’s son Damenk over them and accepted his oath of obeisance. Thereafter some men of the Water-Borne Division of the Regiment were sent to patrol and guard the coastlands of East Isle against further invasion.

10 Saram:
The TWENTIETH Alsaldic King was King Kubisa, formerly Governor of the North Eskit province of Cobi Fu. Reigned 5 years.

In the fifth year of King Kubisa’s reign all crops failed, many people died, birds blackened the sky, the odour of putrescence was everywhere.

5 Kelis:
The TWENTY-FIRST Alsaldic King was King Maros of Clan Bukplugn. Reigned 33 years.

During King Maros’ reign traders came from overseas bringing oils and wine and linen and seeking gold, copper, tin and amber. An alliance was entered with them.

8 Palamon:
The TWENTY-SECOND Alsaldic King was King Lemnadath, a son of Clan Mandatn. Reigned 2 years.

In the second year of King Lemnadath’s reign the crops failed throughout North Eskin Land and in the lands adjoining the Three Holds.

10 Palamon:
The TWENTY-THIRD Alsaldic King was King Mequis, a son of Clan Krisvin. Reigned 38 years.

During Kin Mequis’ reign five families were sent north to the island of Porcynnis to be governed by the Kings of the Three Holds.

And during his reign the Regiment was sent to Banva Go to strengthen the forces of Lord Higrys of Ul Dlida and Lord Ladthas of Anyo Dlida against the Lugiönes of that land. The Lugiönes were defeated. Lord Higrys was made King of Ul Dlida, subject to the Alsaldic King. Lord Ladthas was made King of Anyo Dlida as subject to the Alsaldic King.

9 Uät:
The TWENTY-FOURTH Alsaldic King was King Skalds of Bayland. Reigned 51 years.

During his reign the overseas traders of the alliance returned seeking grain. The Alsaldic Lands were scoured in search of enough to fill these traders’ many boats. King Skalds received much by way of treasures in return as these traders had emptied the treasuries of all the chiefs and kings of their lands.

In his days was peace and plenty.

3 Uät:
The TWENTY-FIFTH Alsaldic King was King Haldys, nephew of the Good King Skalds of Bayland. Reigned 17 years.

During the reign of King Haldys the Regiment was sent to Banva Go to defeat the rebellious Lugiönes.

And during his reign truvidiren and law-man were sent to East Isle to administer the Laws of Saram and pass judgement in the name of Saram.

And during his reign Truvidir Mouslis was sent to Gouslunt. It was hoped an alliance could be formed and peace between the two peoples be assured but Truvidir Mouslis was unable to come to agreeable terms with the Gousen of Gouslunt.

10 Sauën:
The TWENTY-SIXTH Alsaldic King was King Bregnant, son of King Vesdath of the White Lands. Reigned 22 years.

During his reign an alliance was made between King Iusanit of the Gousen of Gouslunt and the Alsaldic King. The alliance was sealed by the exchange of daughters.

And during his reign the Regiment was sent to aid King Iusanit of Gouslunt in his battle against the Nritrin of Ertlund who harried the coasts of Gouslunt and killed many of his people (that is men, women and children). The Nritrin were defeated but only after the Regiment had suffered great losses.

3 Saram:
The TWENTY-SEVENTH Alsaldic King was King Ardhorus, a son of Clan Querkan. Reigned 15 years.

During his reign the Regiment was sent to aid King Blada of the Lowlands, King Skorla of the Estuary and King Bragnos of the Marshes. After heavy losses on both sides King Blada and King Skorla were victorious. King Bragnos of the Marshes was defeated and that land and people became the subjects of the Nritrik king. It will be remembered always as a sad defeat.

8 Kelis:
The TWENTY-EIGHTH Alsaldic King was King Dathes, a son of Clan Luktosn. Reigned 14 years.

During the reign of King Dathes the Regiment was sent to aid King Blada of the Lowlands against the Nritrin. After heavy losses the Regiment withdrew and King Blada surrendered to the Nritrik king. Two trikadents after this defeat King Skorla of the Estuary also surrendered to the Nritrik king without battle.

2 Sauën:
The TWENTY-NINTH Alsaldic King was King Rufiäl, a son of Clan Krisvin. Reigned 13 years.

During the third year of King Rufiäl’s reign West Alsime Land was attacked by King Blaidys of the White Lands. After many losses King Blaidys was defeated but refused to accept King Rufiäl as his Over-King. However, King Blaidys swore oaths that he would continue to administer the Laws of Saram in that land and asked to be freely allied with the Alsaldic King. King Rufiäl agreed to his request.

In the ninth year of his reign King Puchelt of the Heath in the East Isle died. While there was still no king to govern the land a mighty force from the Marshes led by King Junya overran the land. There was a great slaughter of people, the sky turned black, the earth turned red, white corpses lay where they died awaiting burial. The Heath became subject to King Junya of the Marshes.

5 Palamon:
The THIRTIETH Alsaldic King was King Hudrys of Bayland. Reigned 5 years.

In the fifth year of King Hudrys’ reign the Darkness of Draksen came upon us.

Now read on . . . . First episode, The Cuckoo’s Child, Thursday 22nd September

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Last of the Asars

Last of the AsarsAs a new Asaric Tale is about to begin—King’s Wife, starts 22nd September with episode 1: The Cuckoo Child—this seems a good time to review this series of stories about the Asars, a people you might know better as the Fallen Angels.

The series began in December 2012 with Feast Fables Trilogy, posted in weekly instalments as a dedicated blog which finally finished earlier this year (phew!). Set in Mesolithic through Neolithic and at times ranging throughout Eurasia, yet its main setting was the Fertile Crescent.

Also beginning in December 2012 was Neve (a time-slip story). Though first of the (relatively) shorter tales, Neve covered the Asars’ last years on Earth (before ‘Atonement’)—which just happened to be set in my native East Anglia.

Next came Priory Project, in form another time-slip story, the main action set during the Western European Neolithic with a focus on the monument-rich hills and plains of Wessex. (It’s now the reader discovers the Asaric World isn’t our world but a parallel universe.)

Alsalda was a natural progression from this, though perhaps some thousand years on. It focuses on the changes wrought by the advent of the Beaker culture as the Neolithic skids into the Early Bronze Age.

And now with King’s Wife, the years again have rolled on. Still set mostly in (a parallel) Wessex, and still culturally within the Bronze Age, yet the action here forms a clarion call to the rapidly approaching Age of Iron when the sword will be king.

This is the last in the series of Asaric Tales. Oddly, the Iron Age doesn’t inspire me, and the later, Saxon-thro’-medieval, period is already covered by Neve.

I thank all those who have followed the Asaric entanglements so far, and those who are about to follow this one. King’s Wife will be posting twice weekly, on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Happy reading.

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