Ardheim, the Planet of

In case you missed it, the planet of Ardheim is one of the planets in which I was commissioned to create by a UK LARP system based in Kent. I’ve loved the planet build like a child and here it is now, in its own glory, for you to peruse. What stands here is the original, unadulterated text as I wrote it.

I have to apologise for the amount of errors in this document; it was edited so many times over the creative process that a lot were missed when it came to actually finishing the piece.

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The Planet of Ardheim

Capital: Kingskeep (Kjngskjjp)
Population: 1.89 bil+
Orbital Period: 729 Terran days
Day Length: 24.8 Terran Hours
Atmospheric Pressure: 1.2 Terran Atmospheres
Radius: 9,153km
Surface Gravity: 1.2G
Natural Satellites: The moon ‘Merljn’
Space Ports: Kingskeep and Sigurdheim
Languages: Ardheimian, Terran Standard English, and traces of Rossian.
Adjective: Ardheimian

Contents:
Of the Discovery of Ardheim;
Of Oberonwood;
Of the Titania Rainforest;
Oceanography and Other Bodies of Water;
Of Topographical Statistics;
Of Noteworthy Beastlore;
Of the Four Cities;
Of Thundjrfall Mjd;
Festivals and Special Dates;
Of Religion;
Of Ardheimian Orbit;
Of Trade;
Of Law, Justice and Crime;
Of the Governing Body;
Nobility/Families of Note;
Of Military; and
Of the Relationship Between Ardheim and Rossi.

Of the Discovery of Ardheim
Freyja Titania Stark and her lover, Ingolfur Oderon discovered and founded the city of Kingskeep on the planet which they had discovered together, Ardheim. Freyja would go on to also govern the planet of Ardheim, but decreed a parliament be built for democratic purposes. She appointed Oderon as her chief whip and became the first jarl of Ardheim.

Ardheim was populated more or less straight away, using some of the initial landing crafts as rudimentary buildings for residence, governance and military purposes. At first, agriculture came from the areas carved out by strip logging, of which the areas are now reforested or built over with what is now Kingskeep. This first settlement branched out into a city rapidly, and thus became Kingskeep. It is during the growth of Kingskeep that Oderon Ingolfur also became the first housecarl of Kingskeep and of all Ardheimian history.

Of Oberonwood
Although Kingskeep is the only city in this forest, a number of towns exist. They are beacons and safe zones that are built above and below the treeline. All lit, each one would be able to see two others on both a clear day and a clear night.

Although many people on the planet believe that Oberon was the name of the King at the founding of the city, it is in fact the name of the first housecarl of Kingskeep. It was Lady Freyja Titania Stark who named Oberonwood thus, after her lover.

Sections of the forest on the equator are known to be more jungle than forest. The largest of which is known as the Titania Rainforest. There are no townships nor beacons in the rainforests.

Each township is named for the person who founded them. These have only become official because their original designations have become lost to memory. Each township knows the name of the other two beacons that they can see, but very few people outside of the beacons know all of them. These townships usually number no more than four to five thousand, but collectively their population would number forty five thousand souls.

Of the Titania Rainforest
The Titania Rainforest is named for the wife of Oberon, it creates an incomplete belt across the equator that is dissected by two rivers, Kormt and Ormt. It is said to be similar to how the Amazonian rainforest on Terra once was.

It is home to the largest lake, Mjmmjsbrunr, whose river snakes south by south west towards Lorelej, where it opens into Vodjanoj.

Dotted around the Titania rainforest are statues. They resemble humans in every way, although they lack the pupils in their eyes, giving them an eery, glazed over stare that, although not piercing, watches the creatures as they pass by with intensity. Often, these are merely the heads of humans, and have been there since the first settling of Ardheim, so their general aesthetic is of traditional Ardheimian wear. These heads sit amongst plants and watch the forest in a timeless ire, often having the trees, vines and such grow around them.

They are markers, more or less, and their positioning often marks out the existence of a small stone structure nearby. What these structures are purposed for though, are lost to time, although a number of them detail legends of times past, written in Ardheimian runes. Some archaeologists believe that these are tombs, whereas others believe that they are small museums, of sorts, that only exist as deposits of knowledge, and are raised as monuments.

Why they are built in a rainforest is also unknown, since the rainforest is easily able to overcome and absorb these structures over time. The accepted theory is that these structures, whether a tomb or a monument or both, are “given” to the rainforest, which in turns gives the legends to the planet itself.

Oceanography and Other Bodies of Water
There are three oceans on the planet, Lorelej, Melusjne and Vodjanoj, each of which are connected by a series of long continent-spanning canals.

Lorelej is the largest of the three, sitting as the furthest north of the three seas. Of the water’s surface, it sports almost a quarter of the world’s water. It is the only sea to span across both hemispheres.

Melusjne is the second largest body of water on Ardheim with little over a fifth of the world’s water. It is the sister sea to Lorelej, but is closely located to Vodjanoj, who are separated from each other by the Titania Rainforest despite Melusjne’s spanning into the rainforest itself, leaving very little in the way of land between them.. Geographically, Melusjne is located far to the east of Lorelej and directly north of Vodjanoj.

Vodjanoj, the sea with almost a tenth of the world’s water, is naturally connected to Melusjne outside of the canal systems. The river Kerlaugar is the longest river upon all of Ardheim and opens into two tributary rivers named Körmt and Örmt after connecting to the citystate of Sigurdholm. Kormt connects southward to Vodjanoj, and Ormt connects eastward to Melusjne. Of these two, Ormt has the longest route, travelling south before heading east whereas Kormt boasts a more or less direct path to the sea. The reason why Ormt does not continue being the reason why Sigurdholm is powered, and is explained in the city section of this guide.

There is a lake known as Hvergelmjr, directly north of Kingskeep. From it runs the river Sljdr which runs through Oberonwood and parallel to Lorelej for some time before connecting to the sea, which is to the west.

The canals that have a thoroughfare through Oberonwood are in need of constant attention. Animals are not unknown to drink from the water, so a number of predators can be found hunting these other creatures in the water itself. Another problem is the vast vegetation which, at the turn of the seasons, overgrow at times. Often, there are operations that can take days to clear the canal’s path of obstructing Creepvine – so called because, with direct sunlight and proper water sourcing, this vine can crawl up to ten meters a day.

Water Division on Ardheim
27% to Lorelej;
21% to Melusjne;
9% to Vodjanoj;
6% to the Sigurdholm reservoir; and
51% to rivers, canals, lakes, ponds, and the Titania Rainforest.

Of Topographical Statistics
30% Water; and
70% Landmass.

Landmass
53% Hills;
22% Mountainous;
9% Tundra;
10% Grassland; and
6% Coastal Terrain (beaches etc.. Not including cliffs);

76% Forestry;
24% Clear Grasslands and Tundra etc.; and
0% Deserts (due to desertification).

Of Noteworthy Beastlore
The Ljuutfjsh (Lutefish) is a salmon like fish that swims through the many rivers – and on many occasions, canals – to reach their breeding grounds in the lakes and ponds of the mountainous regions of Ardheim in the northern hemisphere. Being so numerous, they are the most noteworthy of all the fish on Ardheim and iare the main source of fish produce to the populace.

Owls are abundant on Ardheim, coming in many shapes and sizes far too numerous to be listed here. They each inhabit many sections of Oberonwood and it is considered a grave omen to not hear an owl at night. Owls can also be commonly found in towns and cities, but are very rarely domesticated. To this end it is considered very good fortune to have one make a nest in or on your home.

Honjerts are particularly large hornet-like creatures. These insects are anywhere between fifteen and twenty five centimetres, with the queen of the hive reaching up to an amazing one hundred and ten centimetres. Astonishingly, these creatures are docile in nature, only using their barbed stingers for defensive purposes. It is widely believed that when they lose their barb, they will die in a matter of hours. This is a myth. Honjerts are also kept for their honey, and most, if not all, honjert farms produce ‘mjd’ – a type of spiced mead bred only on Ardheim. The wax produce goes onwards to candle manufacturing.

Bunjjps are mythological creatures that were said to lurk in swamps, creeks, riverbeds and waterholes. People of the planet thought they could hear their cries at night. They believed that a bunjjp took humans as a food source when their stock was disturbed, preferably women, and they tended to blame the bunjjp for disease spread in the river area. Bunjjp supposedly had flippers, a horse-like tail and walrus-like tusks. It is now said that bunjjp are a figment of the initial settler’s imaginations, because the cries they had heard had actually belonged to birds and other creatures. The cries of women supposedly being captured may actually have been sounds of a barking owl.

Djrebejr are immense mammals with thick hides, thick fur and heavy paws. The omnivorous bear-like creature usually does not bother creatures that try to avoid it, but will aggressively defend a kill or other source of food. It will not hesitate to rip apart anything that might contain something edible, like the town buildings that began to spring up in the early townships on Ardheim.

The average size of a Djrebejr is that of an automobile and bigger, often coming to the size of a spectre personnel aircraft or in some cases, becoming the size of a large house. Generally, the size is directly linked to their level of savagery, in which the largest are the most aggressive. There are generally few djrebejrs in any area on Ardheim, given to the hunts that occurred in the earlier years of the planet’s settlement. Djrebejr are gluttonous creatures who spend much of their time either searching for food, eating, or in hibernation during the winter period of the planet. When they awake they are hungry and will devour whatever they deem edible and within reach, which often includes unwary travellers or sometimes come into the townships in Oberonwood. Djrebejr are otherwise indigenous to the entirety of Ardheim but for the Titania rainforest, where the temperature does not suit them.

Dryads are another myth on Ardheim, but the evidence towards their existence is very convincing and would otherwise be concrete enough to confirm them as real if there were a photograph or a case of habeus corpus. From compiled reports we can say that these dryads are humanoids made of tree bark that are either trees that have come to life or are separate entities altogether from unknown origin. There are those amongst the religion of Yggdrasil that say that these dryads are manifested from the power of the tree of life itself, but there is no evidence of this.

One case exists which documents a large sighting, but again no other evidence but wounds from survivors and eyewitnesses from the incident exist.

Of the Four Cities
Kingskeep is a huge, multi-layered city that’s built into the surrounding forest. It is a metropolis surrounded by one monumental forest. It can sometimes be hard to distinguish the two apart, and this lends itself to the very character of the company. The tall almost tree-like forest city is the original home of the Kingskeep 98th, a distinguished unit worthy of some note.

This city is well known for its grand library and museums, of which the Crune museum is the most well known for its many fields of history – ranging from cultural to wartime and from natural to scientific – portrayed in its exhibits.

Kingskeep also boasts the oldest buildings, sometimes accompanied by megaliths and statues that mark out the defining eras and events on Ardheim and in Kingskeep. Amongst the oldest buildings on the planet are multiple cairns just outside Kingskeep’s main city walls, although Kingskeep does have a number of catacombs that date back to the first settling..

Kingskeep is home to the largest space port on Ardheim and its population is approximately 0.9 billion.

Archjmedj (Archimedes Plateau) was, in Ardheim mythology, the first place that the owl of yore landed after flying out from Yggdrasil after it became exhausted from its days of flight, exploring the lands and skys of Ardheim. Archjmedj’s city is built up and around the base of the plateau, with a number of buildings that are solely of religious and philosophical significance to Ardheim’s culture sitting on top of the plateau itself. These buildings belong to a monastery (of sorts) and is a centre of the religious cult of the owl to Ardheimians.

Atop the common architectural style of Ardheim, this city boasts religious symbolism crafted into awnings, windows and megaliths. It also boasts a large number of cairns even inside the city, but at the base of the plateau.

This city houses 0.1 billion in terms of population, making it the second smallest city..

Located atop the river of Kerlauger, Sigurdholm spans the entire breadth and more of the reservoir of which the river is fed into. Here the water is converted to energy via a hydroelectrical powerplant located in the dam that splits the manmade lake into two seperate rivers, Kormt and Ormt. The reservoir can be seen at key spots of the city, which appear like ornamental fountain areas dotted around Sigurdholm..

Far beneath the surface of the reservoir is the original township – or attempted city – of Reginholl. This settlement was abandoned and later repopulated after the Haraldklak Uprising. The river of Kerlauger was later seen to be a great resource for a larger scope of settlement and thus the dam laid the path for Sigurdhelm to evolve over time.

The second largest space port on Ardheim resides in Sigurdholm and the city supports a population of 0.8 billion but holds low density to support itself above the reservoir, even with the supporting infrastructure.

Thundjrfall – possibly most well known for its festivals and the mead hall Sessrumnir. Although Ardheimer festivals can be held anywhere, Thundjrfall is the most well known and well received location for such things; people come from all over the planet to celebrate specific holidays here, possibly due to the festivities and traditional Ardheimian architecture that dominates the city from edge to edge.

The mjd hall known as ‘Sessrumnjr’ is the largest and most famous hall in all of Ardheim, and is regarded as one of the most hospitable public buildings in the system. Here is served vast quantities of the mjd made from honjert’s honey. It by far doesn’t hold the sole-distribution rights, but it certainly does turn the highest profit, as the company that owns the Sessrumnjr owns a majority of the honjert farms, of which are located within a reasonable distance from Thundjrfall. It is safe to say that most of the mjd on Ardheim is made in or around Thundjrfall.

Thundjrfall is by no means technologically behind every other city on Ardheim. Technology on Ardheim is Terran standard and streamlined. Thundjrfall is merely the most well known for traditional Ardheim culture. Although it is the least populated area of Ardheim, it attracts tourists that can often number rival that of even Sigurdholm’s population total. The population of Thunderfjall is 0.09 billion.

Of Thundjrfall Mjd
A fortified mead made with honey gathered by honjerts all over Ardheim and fermented with a particular blend of spices.

Thundjrfjll Mjd is property of Hartheim Breweries. It is not exported. It is sold solely on Ardheimian soil and in Hartheim stores on the Heimdall satellite in orbit.

Exportation is illegal in any amount, although Terran authorities have managed to negotiate a contract with Hartheim in order to serve an agreed amount to Kingskeep units in the Terran military. It is usually delivered and notified to the CO of the unit and what happens to it from there is not covered in the contract, although the COs of Kingskeep units are most commonly deeply protective of the mjd.

The Thundjrfall Mjd is served all over Ardheim, but sales are generally concentrated in Kingskeep and Thundjrfall, with the latter being the most numerous, primarily due to tourism.

Of Festivals and Special Dates
The Hollj Festival – a celebration of the long living language of Ardheim. It is celebrated on the seventeenth day of the first month of the year. It is customary for Ardheimians to solely speak Ardheimian for this day. In the city of Kingskeep, citizens are known to celebrate for the entire week following the seventeenth.

The End of Autumn Star Festival – Derived from the villages and city districts under the treeline where the stars can’t be seen until after the leaves of trees have fallen to unblock the light of the stars. It was said to be the best time to make a wish as the Drjads could have a long time to think about it during their winter sleep and see it was a good idea. Special candles made of Honjert wax are given to children to wish upon with special wish-paper, which is made to write the wishes on.

The Solstices and Equinoxes – The Solstices and Equinoxes are a perpetual cycle of growth and retreat tied to the Ardheimian sun’s annual “death and rebirth” over the period of 729 days. This cycle is also viewed as a micro- and macrocosm of other life cycles in an immeasurable series of cycles composing the Universe. The days that fall on the landmarks of the yearly cycle traditionally mark the beginnings and middles of the four seasons of Ardheim. They are regarded with significance and host to major communal festivals. These eight festivals are the most common times for community celebrations and the major festivals are determined by quarter and cross-quarter days.

Of Religion
Yggdrasil is the axis mundi in Ardheimian religion. It is the regarded as the world center or the connection between“Valholl” and Ardheim. As thecelestial andgeographic pole, it expresses a point of connection between the sky and the earth where the four compass directions meet. At this point, travel and correspondence is made between higher and lower realms. The Yggdrasil functions as the naval the world’s point of beginning. The image is mostly viewed as feminine.

The Yggdrasil originates in a natural and universal psychological perception: that the spot it “occupies” stands at “the centre of the world”. This space serves as a microcosm of order because it is known and settled. From the center one may still venture in any of the four fundamental directions, make discoveries, and establish new centers as new realms become known and settled.

This is where the legend of the Owl originates. If the tree symbolises order and life and all the positives and negatives that associate with these values, then it is the Owl who represents the opposite in both their positives and negatives; outside the boundaries of the microcosm of Yggdrassil lie foreign realms that, because they are unfamiliar or not ordered, represent chaos, death and night.

In allegorical mythology, the Owl spread its wings as it came of age and, at the warning of the Voice of Yggdrasil, flew out from its nest in the tree’s branches. The Owl desired to learn of the world outside its current world. The Owl flew for days, only landing to rest on a tree upon a plateau that overlooked a grand expanse of Ardheim’s trees below. The Owl is regarded as the anthropomorphism of mankind’s desire for change, knowledge, experience, and evolution. As death, the Owl appears as a symbol of a “lightbearer”, who diminished the ignorance in the realms beyond that which is familiar. This death is the death of times past, so is naturally symbolic of change.

Of Ardheimian Orbit
Ardheim has only one moon, known as “Merljn”:

Capital: No Known Colonies.
Population: 0 (uninhabitable without synthetic environments)
Orbital Period: 27 Terran days
Day Length: 54 Terran Hours
Atmospheric Pressure: 0.02 Terran Atmospheres
Equatorial Radius: 1,738 km
Surface Gravity: 0.3G

There is one large commercial satellite for civilian use that has a geosynchronous orbit above Kingskeep. Other than this satellite, dubbed “Hejmdallr”, various sensory and military satellites also sit in a geosynchronous orbit above each of the four cities.

Hejmdallr is used mostly as a spaceport and a gateway to the two spaceports of Kingskeep and Sigurdholm on the planet surface. Here sits customs, import/export control, trade buoys and harbours, and many various marketplaces for the workers, tourists, and immigrants that come in fro various walks of life.

The military satellites and used mostly for surverying the space around Ardheim and interact with the other sensor arrays dotted around the system. The small military units are stationed solely for the defence of the satellites themselves.

Of Trade
Import – Metals, Ores, and Minerals.
Export – Timber, Tea, Incense, and Carpentry.

Importing metals, ores and minerals is important to Ardheimer economy and industry. Such things aren’t an abundance on the planet and so must import the more important items from abroad. The major importer has been from the galactically nearby planet of Rossii, which is otherwise rich in the above’s deposits.

Due to careful planning and strategic replantation efforts, Ardheim is able to keep a more or less stable amount of trees on its planet surface without incurring deforestation whilst also trading in its timber. The forestry has also ingrained itself so deeply into the culture of Ardheim that carpenters and their produce is in demand even offworld.

Tea is largely grown in the townships that surround the equator, since the tropical climes that include the rainforests are perfectly acclimatised to the conditioning of tea leaves. Tea is distributed across Ardheim and exported across the Segovax cluster, although it is a relatively new trade, having only been traded outside of private families in the last one hundred years, in the year 5765TSY. The blending of teas often occurs in the townships themselves in order to create more expensive but better tasting tea.

Incense is also grown in a variety of areas. To this end, it is not unusual to walk into public and private buildings alike and find the smell of incense lingering about the rooms, perfuming the areas with all manner of aromas.

Of Law, Justice and Crime
The planet of Ardheim follow all laws under the Terran Government body, however the abuse of animals and unwanton destruction etc. of natural installations and reserves follow more severe laws than the Terran government’s view on the matter, sometimes doubling the sentence given. Capital punishment is non-existent under Terran Sovereignty Law.

Of the Governing Body
Each city is governed over by a Housecarl. These Housecarls make up the cabinet for the Jarl of the political party (a ‘thjng’) that is dominant at the time. The Housecarl is instated from the thing’s cabinet after election.

 

The other party is not subject to being dissolved, but becomes a shadow government that, for all intents and purposes, become the naysayers and the like for the thing in power. The things come together in a parliament (Wjtengamot) in the planet capital of Kingskeep. The Jarls keep their titles.

The two thjngs, although not religious in structure, still take on the ideals of the Owl and the Tree’s core values as a form of their basic politicking. The thing members still withhold their own personal religious beliefs.

Any one person of any class can become a politician (a lawspeaker), and the political voting takes place in a secret ballot that was instated during Lady Freyja Stark’s time.

Of Nobility/Families of Note During the Founding Years
Lady Freyja Titania Stark, discoverer of Ardheim, founder of Kingskeep, first Jarl of the first thjng;
Ingolfur Oderon, Chief Whip of the first thjng (betrothed to Lady Freyja Titania Stark);
Baldur Oderon, first Jarl of the second thjng (later known as the Tree thjng); and Kristoffen Haraldklak, first and last housecarl to Reginholl.

Oderon was the chief whip of the party which Lady Stark headed, then became the two married some time afterwards. In the time after the establishment of Kingskeep as a city, the parliament became fleshed out and the opposing party, its name long forgotten, became headed by Oderon’s son, Baldur Oderon, who was not born of Lady Stark.

The two parties initially feuded, which is the cause for most of the relative animosity between the two parties today – it is a rivalry that has lasted centuries. Baldur Oderon is left relatively unforgotten in most other aspects of history, and survives now almost exclusively as a footnote concerning the initial founding things of the wjtengamot.

In the last years of Freyja Stark and Ingolfur Oderon, the Haraldklak Uprising saw the two things agree for the first time since the initial formation of the parties. Haraldklak was the first appointed housecarl to Reginholl during its development and became the iterator who rallied the first waves of the uprising. He was the last to be executed.

The political damage dealt by the Haraldklak Uprising led to a reform of the wjtengamot. At this time the basic religion of Ardheim was fleshed out. It was Lady Freyja Stark’s will and testament that led Ingolfur Oderon to name the two thjngs after the Tree and the Owl.

Of Nobility/Families of Note During the Present Years
Bjorn Beresson, the Head of the Townships;
Gregor Nituptsar, the Rossiian Ambassador;
Jarl Huginn Aesir, of Stark-Oderon descent, Jarl of the Owl thjng in the wjtengamot;
Jarl Muninn Vanir, Jarl of the Tree thjng in the wjtengamot;
Ulrik Grimnarsson – General of the Ardheimian Military; and
Arjaca Stennave – Standard Bearer (XO) of the Ardheimian Military.

Of Military
Military life on Ardheim is on a voluntary basis and never based on conscription. Ardheim does not fill a rota of servicemen and women, but all who sign up are paid workers in every sense.

There is a strong militant feel to the townships and beacons of the world but the military do not cover these areas in patrols, though they do hold them within their territory of defence, as they do with all of Ardheim. It is not unknown for people who live in these areas to take up arms against any threat to their homes, living beneath the treelines as they do. The Ardheim Military does respond to threats all over the planet, but there have been a number of occasions where they have been dispatched to a threat in the townships where the danger has already been taken care of by the locals.

This military force mostly deals in small engagements on Ardheim and rarely deploy in large forces having threats only really present themselves on a small scale. Syndicates and the rare criminal gangs etc. are taken down by surgical strikes by platoons at most and by swift fireteams at the very least. To this end, the Ardheimian Military mostly deals in commando techniques of warfare and used in clandestine operations.

The military of Ardheim garrisons each city, often with anything up to two or three regiments holding up in a city at any given time.

Training occurs on Ardheim itself, with some recruits being taken offworld for various reasons. This could be specialised training or for less than honourable charges. Rossiians are often brought to Ardheim for this purpose, training under Ardheim professionals.

Being recruited into the Terran Armed Forces is to be defined outside of the Ardheim Military. Although the AM defend Ardheim itself, both planetside and on satellites, the TAF takes the fighting to the front line and away from Ardheim. Recruitment generally comes from the initiate being told to choose between the two, but transfer can be enacted at any time to either force. Transference from TAF to AM is very uncommon, however.

Ardheim is best known for scouts and marksmen, and both know the value of good camouflage. To this end, hair of all kinds is not considered impractical by the armies and is not an obligation to be shaved off at the recruitment stage, due to its natural camouflaging abilities.

Of the Relationship Between Ardheim and Rossi
The Rossiian numbers on Ardheim are most often down to emigration through trade and commerce. With the minerals, ores and metals being brought onto the planet, a distinct population of Rossiians have settled down mostly in the cities of Kingskeep and Sigurdholm, where the main space ports are, although a small number have branched out to the other cities and a meaner number still to the townships in Oberonwood.

Culturally the Rossiians have no influence outside of their own homes on Ardheim, keeping mostly to themselves but aren’t by any means at all unfriendly with Ardheimians.

A number of Rossiians are brought to Ardheim for training under the Ardheimian Military, as part of as per their trade agreement in the past. This deal is honoured and beneficial to both parties, as a number of Rossiians are selected and recruited into the Terran Armed Forces from here. Trainees who choose to emigrate to Ardheim are also welcome to join the Ardheim Military should they so choose.

Of General History
Ardheim’s population started from a small exploration unit to a fully fledged colony. The exploration unit turned to the governance of the colony, which in time grew into the city that is known still as Kingskeep. It succeeded its growth in this manner for a number of years, superseding the new illnesses and losing scout parties to what was, from the very beginning, named Oberonwood.

In the years to follow it became apparent that Ardheim was populated in regions by the then humungous djrebejr. Indeed, although the planet was scanned by the explorator groups, djrebejr would not turn up in the initial scans. Why this is so is a mystery, though some people theorise that the creatures would have been ‘camouflaged’ by the biomass around them in the biomass scans.

Often it came to be where fellowships of hunters would go out into the wilds to protect the early settlements from Djrebejr attacks. Weapons were fashioned by these hunters seeking prizes, who often came to live in the woods themselves for varying purposes. In Oberonwood, many of these hunter’s hamlets became the beacons and townships that survive today. It was customary of these fellowships to name their marked djrebejr and then leave to kill it. If they returned then the fellowship’s hamlet was named after the bejr itself. The first fashionings of these buildings are made not only from the wood of trees but also from the bones of the djrebejr, but this was only after the kill had been made. These hunts were later made illegal and now the djrebejr who remain are significantly smaller than those who were once hunted.

A number of years passed in which not only Kingskeep had been formed as a fully grown city, but Reginholl had been established as a township on the Kerlauger river, long before it became Sigurdholm. The rioting that led to the destruction of Reginholl was the Haraldklak Uprising, in which the mjd hall of Reginholl played a central part in spreading the philosophy that Ardheim was to become an independent planet, apart from the Terran Sovereignty. A growing number of the Ardheimian population were coming around to this belief that they could survive without the sovereign’s patronage to the extent that the Reginholl housecarl had become so involved that he had become a director of some of the terrorist acts that had claimed lives in Kingskeep and even blew up one of the three satellites in orbit at the time.

To this end, of the folk who were a part of this philosophy came mostly from Reginholl. This included a number of the terrorist cells dotted around the major centres of Ardheim. Legislation was passed by a disappointed Jarl of the Tree party, who went unopposed by the majority vote, of which was voted for 7:2 following an almost unanimous vote for the same law from the Owl party. This new piece of legislation passed the hunting and death of convicted terrorists and criminals who act in the name of the Haraldklak Uprising.

This was considered to be a dark period in Ardheim history, where groups of the Haraldklak Uprising terrorists and ‘criminals’ would be taken to a remote section of the Oberonwood and hanged in groups. The hangings were purposefully botched so that the criminals and terrorists would not have their necks broken, but rather suffer the choking from the ropes. Sadly, this included the entirety of the Reginholl township, but the children of which were taken into care in Kingskeep.

The atmosphere would crack with the simultaneous droppings of the bodies. The carrion birds who’d become accustomed to nesting in the area would fly in droves at the sudden noise, seconds before the collective noises of choking, spluttering and coughing would surround a person who stood in this area of the forest.

This was not the beginning of, but it was the first major incident where the mythological dryads were reported en masse, where they were said to come from the trees themselves and killed a large number of personnel who saw to the mass homicide in the trees. After this, Reginholl was drowned and the dam which plays such a large part of Sigurdholm now was built. The area that came to be known as ‘The Singing Forest’ is patrolled and kept secret by officials but it is the source of bedtime horror stories and old wives’ tales. Just another urban myth, but certainly one of the darker moments in Ardheim history.

After some years of careful planning it came to be that, one by one, the cities of Sigurdholm, Thundjrfall and Archjmedj were planned, plotted and created. In various stages of their growth but with Thundjrfall, Archjmedj and Kingskeep being fully grown cities now, the war against the One Bakkar fell upon Mankind. Since then, Sigurdholm had achieved city status.

On the Background of the Kingskeep 98th
The creation of the Kingskeep 98th came as a long standing plan from Lady Freyja Stark, who put into place a plan that the AM-KIII (Ardheimian Military – Kingskeep III, III being the platoon designation) be created as an Ardheimian disinformation campaign, in order to deceive the more cunning of the Haraldklak Uprising into thinking that there was just another anti-terrorist unit with numerous units operating in the area. AM-KIII, established under the command of Col. Snorri Oberon-Stark, would ‘prove’ to the Uprising that they existed as just another platoon, but would act as if they were several more.

These actions led to the Haraldklak uprising to leaving sensitive information exposed. In this, the AM-KIII made a rapid insertion into the position that saw the simultaneous death of a multitude of Haraldklak’s doubles, and the capture of several more along with Haraldklak himself. With the end of the Uprising, the AM-KIII was disbanded for almost a year before they were reunited under the banner of the Kingskeep 98th.

Every candidate for the 98th was a veteran from another AM outfit and  had already undergone at least two layers of screening and months of AM experience. Once in the 98th, a candidate’s training continued. The 98th’s build was much like a regular company’s build, but would not deploy like one. Instead, they were deployed in combat teams numbering at least four members, each of whom had a specific function on the team. The Kingskeep 98th were built for several purposes, whereas the AM would specify their platoons to only one of these. The 98th members were trained further in all of them.

© Copyright Kier Sparey 2013

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