The founding families each seized on the opportunity for leadership in different ways but it was the Lionsblood family that led the way as builders of a civilisation and a popular force among the people.
The Birth of the Lionsgold
Ancient fragments of history that exist just post the Age of Ignorance from the Age of Wrath tell us of the first coming of the legendary Kaytarr who brought the corruption of Daemonkind with them. The destruction that they promised to hammer into the world, not just the Basin, was spoken of as was the coming together of the lines that would form the power of the Lionsgold rather than the Lionsblood. As those families rose, so did the remaining and often self-titled “Kings and Queens” of that age either subjugate, flee or die. The following text speaks with as much knowledge as we accurately have of those days:
They came from the seas to the South, two black ships it is said, sailed into the harbour, their sails furled, no oars to row them. Thirty men disembarked from the two ships, clothed from head to toe in robes of black, their eyes glowing a deep azure. In each of their hands they carried a skull topped staff, each one an artifact of great power. Thaddius stepped forward and spoke words that were heard in every Kingdom, in every house and room from castle to hovel, by King and Leper, the basin shook. Know this, he said, this land is mine, your lives belong to me, my thoughts are your thoughts, my will is your will. For I am Thaddius, archmage of the Kaytaar and you will obey me. With that the thirty, who were the black cabal of the Kaytaar strode to the castle of King Palurn, those who tried to stop them were struck by bolts of power or burnt in flames of magic. Palurn was hurried from the palace and taken to the lands of Stokon Hertisan.
The land would surely have been lost if Queen Jerubal Lionsblood had not taken charge and led the people in a war that raged for five terrible years. In that time Palurn gained considerable distinction with a shadowy troop of Golden haired warriors that could strike without warning. Tales abounded of his courage and the many near death experiences he risked and survived. Eventually, Thaddius and his daemonic cabal were defeated. In that time after the war, Palurn and Ythalren (eldest daughter of Jerubal and Queen of the Lionsblood) were wed and took the name Lionsgold. King Stokon Hertisan bore the wisdom of great age and was convinced that unity was the key to the continued safety of the land.
He abdicated to allow Palurn and Ythalren to rule the kingdom as the first high-king and queen of a united land. They were blessed with many children and proved to be loved by their people. In their old age they retired to a palace in Stokon’s old estate and there they died within a day of each other, he at 91 and she at 82. They were interred deep beneath a barrow prepared by their kin and there they lay to this day. The barrow was venerated for many years afterwards but as time passed the importance of those that lay beneath its grassy mound were forgotten by all but few. Then, 350 years after the comet, Duke Alexander Vantage Lionsgold decided to enclose the area in a fortified wall and built what are the first and oldest sections of Lion’s Keep.
The Lionsgold’s key to power comes from the undertakings that they went through in the early part of their history, their position as saviours and the good fortune that they accrued throughout the years. The bards sang great songs of Palurn and Ythalran in their day and the first of the Lionsgolds, we believe that they chose to drop the “Blood” for several reasons: The Lionsbloods were renowned as people that were focussed on “adventuring” rather than ruling and people managing which it seemed that their advisors felt sent the wrong message for absolute rulers.
The other, less commonly known reason was also image related, in fact so few people now realise that the name Lionsblood was ever a part of the title. The “Blood” had negative connotations as a name and bore a lot of throwback to the Earth Tribes and the legendary Skagriagaard of death and war bringing fame. The Blood Pit and the Druids that governed it had begun to gather an unsavory reputation after the age of ignorance and there was a tarnish to the shine that the heroes of old once held. It was time to return that shine and encourage a new look and that gleam came from the very core of their new found reign: Gold.
Over the next century they brought the Royal Basin together as one whole unit from three very distinct Kingdoms. Development of the political structure indicates that initially the intentions were to keep the Basin together under their rule with the Emperor pushed to one side. However: Other families had been promised great things by Fasteron and those memories lingered to the extent that they refused to give up land and positions that they considered to be hereditarily theirs, despite the young nature of the country that they inhabited. Some had strong support from the loyalty and traditions that were instilled at the start of the Empire into the smallfolk that followed them. Keeping the other families in line began to prove to be more difficult than they had originally envisaged.
More information follows in The Lionsgolds: Political Machinations