Baldairn Motte, Part II

When King Baelhairn learned of the jewel stolen away from his mine, he made an example of Garen and Jael. They were hung from the walls of Baldairn Motte for all to see, and the fist-sized emerald Garen had unearthed was set into a new crown for King Baelhairn to wear. Why this single act sparked rebellion after so many years of dominion is unclear. Some tales suggest Jael cursed the Baeldan King and called upon her people to rise up as the noose was placed over her head.

Whatever the reason may have been, the Thralls revolted. King Baelhairn was slain and Baldairn Motte was destroyed in the first year of the war, as the Thralls, dressed as Green People, raided the stronghold en masse. The Baeldan lords across the kingdom took up the fight, each intent on staking their own claim to the throne and once again subjugating the common folk. The war dragged on for years, with numerous battles waged at Baldairn Motte to the same result; whichever Baeldan lord placed himself on the throne at Baldairn Motte was slain. Legends grew of the Amber Maiden’s curse, of the Green People emerging from the forests to take their revenge upon the Baeldans. War turned to blight as fields and crofts were left unworked, and The Blight Winter killed more than had died in battle. The Baeldan lords shrank in number and finally turned to the aid of the foreign lords in the south who worshiped the Passions.

Order was restored. The Kingdom of Baelda was absorbed by the new realm in the south. The common folk returned to their villages and farms and crofts. Of the Baeldan lords, only the Hairng line maintained prominence in ruling the land; Hairng the sole remaining descendants of King Baelhairn, The Last King of Baelda.

Baldairn Motte itself was abandoned and became a place of hauntings and legend. The ghost of the Amber Maiden—the Motte Witch—was said to kill any who looted the ruins in search for the great emerald that was gifted and taken away from her. And there were other ghosts, too, the ghosts of the Thralls, descendant of both the Fairie and the Baeldans, who died in battle there for their freedom.

With such a history, it is perhaps appropriate then that nearly a thousand years later, it was at the ruins of Baldairn Motte that Audwin Ernmund, Lord of Hairng, would fight to put a descendant of the Baeldan line on the throne once again. This time, however, the Baeldan Lord was not fighting to enslave his people, but rather free them from the yoke of the south.

Baldairn Motte is the focus of the mosaic fantasy novel, The Roads to Baldairn Motte. The novel, written by Garrett Calcaterra, Ahimsa Kerp, and Craig Comer takes on three different viewpoints of the same epic confrontation.

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