What does one think of when the word Legends is said? Do they think of swashbuckling heroes, riding the waves to the Edge of Elyria? Or perhaps a man who would be King, gathering a group around him and daring any to defy his right to a crown. Well, my friends, I am Raulwicke Legendsinger, and I tell you that these and more are the Legends of our world.
Over the past few months, I have traveled Elyria in search of these Legends. Brave men and women who have transcended to mundane to become the tales we tell our children and our children’s children. The souls that once they have passed into the Akashic Record will forever be heralded as some of the greatest that ever graced our world. In my travels I have sat with Kings, Beggers, Counts, Journeymen, and common men. In these conversations, I have found that not all Kings are great, and not all commoners are common. In fact, that is the story I wish to tell you today.
Master Wilshire came to me with a request, “Raulwicke, recently in my travels I have spoken at last to King Evelake Rhyne I of Dol Aderyn. I must continue on an important journey, so I am entrusting you with a meeting with his wife, the Queen Aelirenn Velithorne I. Please send my warmest regards.”
Only recently has Master Wilshire allowed me the privilege of working with the Herald, and so I set about my task with enthusiasm and vigor. I spoke with my contacts in the various Kingdoms until I had made the acquaintance of King Evelake himself. After a delightful chat in a tavern outside of the castle, he informed me that the Queen was not nearly as elusive as I supposed her to be. In fact, she would be more than happy to sit with me and speak of things pertaining to her life and her countrymen.
A few days passed in which I made camp inside the boundaries of Dol Aderyn. (As charming a place as one can ever visit dear reader, and I do invite you to sit in their taverns, drink their ale, and perhaps spot yourself the Workman King himself out working amongst his people as I did.) Within the week I received a letter bearing the royal seal of Her Majesty herself inviting me to visit her at the Royal Palace. But a strange instruction was emblazoned in her own personal handwriting at the end. I was informed to wear sturdy boots and meet her in the castle stables!
When I approached the Queen, I was caught off guard by the woman standing before me. She was, of course, as beautiful as her citizens claimed but not for a moment did I ever fathom that, at first glance, anyone would realize she was Warrior born. I knew from my talks with the King that she had been a member of Dol Aderyn’s famed Rangers, but not until I saw her myself did I realize that this woman had given up the battlefield for a courtly seat… and did not seem put at ease by her now far “safer” life.
As I approached, without looking at me she remarked, “Greetings, the King said you wanted to talk to me?”
R.L.S: Yes, your majesty!
Q.A.V: What can I do for you?
R.L.S: My name is Raulwicke the Legendsinger, Bard of Elyria. But today I come not to you as the Legend Singer but as a probationary writer for the Elyria Herald!
The Queen let out a chuckle at this, and I was most confused. The gruff battle worn scoff did not match the features before me. The Queen finally turned to look at me and her fierce yet gentle eyes found my own.
Q.A.V: Ah, I see dear Bradford has been recruiting! What brings you to our fair lands?
I perched myself on a bench of the stables and feigned a confidence to match the Queen’s. She was intimidating and I was becoming more enamored with her and her past by the second.
R.L.S: I will do my best, your majesty, to not seem intrusive with my questioning. But there are some things the people of Dol Aderyn, and Elyria at large would like to know about the Warrior-Queen.
For the next several hours she charmed and regaled me with stories of her time in the Rangers and as a servant of the Kingdom. She told me about how in the Academy she and the King had competed at everything, besting each other in some activities but stalemating in other. One such example was mounted combat.
Q.A.V: I had a better seat but he was far stronger. She told me with a laugh.
Never before have I seen two people who love each other so much. It made me sad that I had to end the walk down memory lane with real investigative questions that I know you want answers to.
R.L.S: Your majesty, like your King, you inspire. The King by being a noble who brings himself to the people, living our lives with us. You, by being one of the people who lives the life of a noble. Tell me, what should I know about Queen Aelirenn of Dol Aderyn? And thus, by the same vein, what should I know about the Ranger General Aelirenn?
Q.A.V: You are too kind. However, there is naught I can really tell you of myself. I am one of the people as you have said. I understand their plights and I will do all within my power to make their lives the best they can be. Though I am still learning, so the people will have to forgive me should I make a mistake. Aelirenn the Ranger General was much the same. My rangers were all individuals to me, not just numbers. I always ensured they went home to their families at the end of the day, that they were suitably provisioned and had hot food and a comfortable bed. They saved my life more times that I dare count. And now I have the real power to reward them for their service. Much as I will any person who deserves it.”
R.L.S: On that note, what plans do you have for Dol Aderyn? By my understanding of the structure of your Kingdom’s charter, the matriarchal lines make you Queen regnant and his Majesty King consort.
Q.A.V: Indeed, it does. Though the King and I are equals in every way. My plans for the kingdom are very simple. I want a utopia of arts and culture, bustling trade, and freedom for my people. Ideally, I want to improve the lot of my people. Far-fetched though it may be we already have initiatives in place for that purpose.
R.L.S: Is there any way this humble bard could get a glimpse at what initiative those might be?
Q.A.V: You need only ask. Our official document on the matter is available by request, though to summarize; we fully support the creation of guilds, businesses, organizations, and other entities that operate under the law of our kingdom. We are also willing to support these entities in their endeavors through monetary contribution and public endorsement.
R.L.S: Then I will ask. Have you copy of this official document readily available for the people of your Kingdom and beyond?
Q.A.V: Of course. While the original official document is held within our vaults, a copy is available to view by anyone within our public library.
My dear readers, I have made this document available to any who wish to read it but cannot travel to the Libraries of Dol Aderyn. This is but a humble service we at the Herald offer our readers: Dol Aderyn Initiatives
R.L.S: I believe I have gotten everything I need to inform the people of Elyria of the jewel of Dol Aderyn, her Majesty Queen Aelirenn I, the Warrior-Queen. Tell me, is there anything else you would like to say to the people of both your Queendom and Elyria at large?
Q.A.V: As ever people are always welcome to ask anything of the King and I. We exist to serve our people and our kingdom, and we are always here for you.
She smiled and relaxed ever so slightly. It appeared as if a burden has suddenly been limited from her shoulder.
Q.A.V: Thank you, Raulwicke. You’ve done our kingdom a great service and I suspect that your story will quash many speculations
I thanked her for the interview and the complement, and then bade her farewell. As I walked away I began to scribble this story for you, my dear reader. The Legend of Dol Aderyn is in the making, and it seems that not just the King Evelake will be a tailor of it. Keep a close eye on this Kingdom, reader, for great things will come of this Royal Pair-of-the-People.
May your goblet never be empty, and your laughter never know silence.
*Reviewed & Edited by Editor in Chief: Bradford J. Wilshire*