Uulder Malphane

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Uulder Malphane (b12 A.C., d101 A.C.)


In the first year following the Cataclysm, Lord British, the last surviving king of Sosaria, had much work. His city of Britain had been devastated in the chaos and destruction following the vanquishing of Mondain, and now the land itself was strange and foreign to the eye.

One of his first decisions was to fortify his borders, and as such, he appointed his most trusted men to the task of guarding the frontiers, watching for invasion while the city rebuilt. One of his appointments was Beorgyth Malphane, a young but extremely skilled warrior in his service. Beorgyth took a large contingent of soldiers and set out north, with instructions to guard the city from invasion.

Beorgyth led his troops through the wild forests until they reached a large level plain, and a dismal swamp. Hugging close to the mountain peaks, they traversed around it, and found that the plain stretched on, as far as the eye could see to the horizon, and beyond. At the foot of the mountains he and his men built a fortress, from wood and stone, to guard the narrow stretch of land leading to Britain.

The fortress changed appearance rapidly throughout the years, as more stone was added to increase its defensive value. Beorgyth and his men were successful at their work, preventing numerous hordes of orcs, trolls, lizardmen, ratmen, and ogres from the northeastern regions from approaching Britain.

In 11 A.C., Beorgyth returned to Britain to be awarded a knighthood for his valor and while there, married and brought his wife with him back to the fort. She bore him a son, Uulder, a year later, but before Uulder turned four she was slain in an attack. Beorgyth raised Uulder on his own, training him in arms and weapons. By the time Uulder was fourteen he was a full warrior, bloodied in battle.

In 30 A.C., the hordes of northeastern Britannia had united into a great army led by G’kar, a fierce troll chieftain. He was determined to drive the humans to the south (Vesper) and east (Malphane’s Fort) out of the regions, and push through to raid Britain, which he had knowledge of from a captured Vesperian. His lust for wealth and unwillingness to split his forces made him attack Malphane first and in full force in early 31 A.C.

Although outnumbered five to one, the fortress’s defenders fought back, withstanding assault after assault upon the walls. But they could not hold out forever and so Beorgyth challenged G’kar to a personal duel, hoping to somehow delay him until reinforcements from Britain could arrive. G’kar agreed, but then had his orc archers slay Beorgyth instead when he rode out.

Uulder Malphane rallied the defenders and they charged out of the fortress, a ravaging force that cut through the humanoid lines easily. Uulder himself it was said slew G’kar in one blow, stunning the horde and sending them fleeing before his wrath. Even so, that may have been the end of him, if the Britain reinforcements had not arrived, Lord British at the lead. The horde panicked at the sight of the new army and fled to the hills and wilds. It was noted that they suffered nearly 60% losses in the battle.

Lord British granted Uulder a field knighthood and all of the Crimson Plains (as it became known as after the battle, for all the blood that had been spilt upon it) as his fief. Uulder became, in name and deed, the ruler of central Britannia, and by extension, most of northeastern Britannia. For the remainder of the 1st century Uulder was the undisputed ruler, and was hailed as a hero.

In the fall of 98 A.C., the hordes formed once again under a powerful charismatic leader, the ogre Yavituk. Yavituk was more clever than most of his brethren, and very powerful. He divided his army into two, and made a few scouting attacks on Vesper, causing the city to plead for Uulder’s aid in defense. When Uulder sent a large force, lead by his grandson Beordred, they were caught between two forces, one coming around the mountains to trap them from behind. They fought valiantly, but were slain to a man.

Beordred’s death hit Uulder, now aged and venerable, hard. He sent his remaining family to Yew, not being able to bear the thought of losing another. He gathered his men from around his territory for the next year, and in the spring of 101 A.C. led them out onto the Crimson Plains to await Yavituk. Yavituk, who had spent the last year gathering his own forces for an assault on Vesper, had heard of Uulder’s plans, and decided to end the nuisance once and for all.

Never had the land seen a crueler battle. Both sides had nearly equal numbers, and the carnage was horrific. Neither side showed quarter or accepted any, the bloodiest war in Britannian history. Slowly, the slight edge in numbers the horde possessed had began to tell, and the humanoids managed to ring what remained of Uulder’s forces.

At that point, Uulder strode forward from the lines. So fierce and terrible was his gaze that the horde fell back from him. He brandished his spear, which glowed in the dusk’s light, and shouted, “You shall never possess this land… I curse you, and all of your descendants for ten generations, that you shall never have it for your own!” He then cast his spear directly into the ground in front of him, a gesture of defiance.

At that point, the Great Earthquake struck.

As the ground shook, both sides fell back, fearful and wondering. Uulder recovered quickly though, and rallied his men, and they charged forward out of the ring. The slaughter began anew, while the ground trembled and the sky grew dark. The defenders drove the horde towards the woods, fleeing in terror. Not without great cost. Nearly three quarters of the defenders fell in the battle, and only half of what remained survived beyond the next day from wounds suffered. And Uulder himself fell, slaying Yavituk with his dying breath, his heart failing him at last. But he was reputed to have slain nearly two score of trolls and ogres that day by his own hand, including their chieftain, and that even where he lay dead, surrounded by their bodies, the horde feared to approach him, fearing he would rise again.

Lord British’s reinforcements arrived by early morning, finding the survivors building a great pyre to burn their leader. Lord British himself was said to have shed tears at his burial, the throwing of his ashes over the land he had protected so long. The fortress was manned again, such was the monsters terror of Malphane’s Curse that they never approached the Crimson Plains for over a century. The eruption of Mt. Kendall in 105 A.C. only reinforced this fear.

Since that fateful day, the Crimson Plains have been a place of mystery and some fear. It is rumored that on certain nights, when the moons are dark and the ether flowing thick, that the two armies rise from the earth, either as spirits or as undead, and fight the battle over… Some have whispered in the shadowed areas of taverns and alehouses that Malphane himself has been seen, a great grim figure bearing his spear still, which followed him to the world of the dead, leading the charge…

Without Uulder’s presence and efforts in those dark times, the humanoids would surely have destroyed Vesper early in its infancy. Brialla would never have made her famous journey into the northeastern lands, discovering the mineral wealth that would lead to the founding of Minoc. And perhaps Britain and Lord British would not have prospered so well or perished entirely, without such vigil on their northern border.


Last modified: December 30, 2011

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