History & Legends
The End of the Great Houses
The families Elentari and Hartendale ruled for many
centuries side by side in peace. All the land of Rydbiyan
was prosperous and flourished greatly. No one wanted
for anything. But in the year 29 of Maustflish (now
simply known as The Early Years) a son was born to the
Thadalin and Corfenia Hartendale were thrilled with
this new addition to their family. No one could have
even fathomed what would happen next.
As a second son to the family Bardiban knew his chances
of ever gaining power were slim, but he was not to be
deterred by this little detail. In 49 of Maustflish
when he was 20 years old Bardiban poisoned his older
brother Hess. He placed a few drops of the nectar of
the Alchardian flower into Hess's drink one night after
dinner. Hess began to feel ill as the evening progressed
but shook it off thinking he may have just caught a
slight chill earlier in the day during the war games
practice. As he got up to retire for the evening though,
Hess collapsed to the floor vomiting profusely everywhere,
in between he had short gasps of air with piercing screams
of pain. His body contorted into a rigid statue of a
The healer rushed in, but it was too late. The Alchardian
nectar works too fast to be stopped and is easily undetectable
except by a very skilled, well trained eye. At 2:15am
the healer pronounced Hess Hartendale dead from poisoning.
The healer was never able to figure out what kind of
poison had been used, but he knew the symptoms of death
by a highly toxic, fast working poison.
Immediately suspicion turned to Hess's squire Urdin
Yarweg. Urdin Yarweg had been squire to Hess now for
some 5 years. Though their beginnings were good, in
the last few months Udrin's demeanor towards his master
had changed dramatically. Hess always said that Urdin
was just going through a "push and shove"
phase. Hess figured all young men, when they thought
they were ready for things, could act inappropriately.
All that really did was just prove to Hess that his
squire was not yet ready to become a man or a knight
But others said they had over heard Urdin talking to
people about how he would be better off if his master
would just drop dead and leave him be to do his own
thing. Others still began to say that they thought they
had seen Udrin hanging around his master's food earlier
that night with a strange vial.
Even without solid proof at hand Udrin Yarweg was condemned
to death for the cold blooded murder of Hess Hartendale.
He was hung in the city square at the exact time of
Hess's death 2:15am in the year 49 of Maustflish. Many
felt that justice had been served, but in others a growing
suspicion was forming inside that there was a darker,
more sinister ending to Hess's life than just a temper
tantrum that got out of hand by a young squire.
Now no one stood in Bardiban's way of the throne. He
was pleased with the sight of the death of his brother.
He had tried desperately that night to disguise a grin
of pleasure that threatened to break his lips. After
a short while though, Bardiban grew tired of only being
"the next in line" his parents still stood
in the way of him achieving his great plans.
At first Bardiban tried befriending and impressing
his father Thadalin. He became the champion swordsmen
and lancer of Rydbiyan and had signed up for duty in
the Hartendale general army. He attended meetings with
his father and debated with him over more minor affairs.
Thadalin though had his own ideas of how things should
work. He was a good, kind man, though he had never been
a close father figure to his sons. Something he had
always regretted but he did the best he knew how with
what little time he was given.
After several years of trying to weasel his way into
his father's life and influence, Bardiban grew tired
of how his father ran things. As where Thadalin thought
that one should rule with a velvet glove and out stretched
arms to his subjects, Bardiban felt that ruling by instilling
fear and using force was a much more interesting and
fun way of ruling over a land. He realized that things
were taking too long and he wanted to wait no longer.
He knew his father would never see things the way he
did and after very little thought, he decided that his
parents had to go as well.
Over the years Thadalin and Corfenia had grown rather
suspicious of their remaining son's activities. They
noticed an increase in violent behavior that he exhibited
toward others, especially his little sister Nartissa
who was only 9. Thadalin recruited one of his most trusted
men and spies to follow Bardiban and see what he was
They never got the chance to find out though. One night
in the year 58 of Maustflish while his parents slept
at a tournament event Bardiban crept into their tents.
First he quickly murdered the guards, slitting their
throats, and then he approached his sleeping parents.
They never knew what hit them. He violently stabbed
them to death and left behind two badly mutilated corpses
that were once his parents. The next morning the bodies
were found by friends of Thadalin who had gotten up
early to see if he wanted to join them in a good day
of hunting wild game. No one ever proved who murdered
the Hartendale couple but some began to suspect their
Now Bardiban took the throne of Hartendale and thus
took over half the power of Rydbiyan. He tired of all
the good deeds that his family and the Elentari's did
for others. What of him? What of his wants and needs?
He needed more than those silly peasants. He wanted
more power; he wanted things run the way he saw fit.
He wanted his pocket to get fatter with coin, jewels,
and precious artifacts. Most of all though he wanted
to instill fear, spread hatred, and rule over all the
Soon a war arose between the Elentari's and Hartendale.
Noser Elentari and his wife Fiona were not impressed
with the way Bardiban was acting. They had watched for
years at court as the younger son of the Hartendale's
grew more and more vicious. Other children had told
them about how he liked to kill animals and said he
would rule the world one day. There were even whispers
of Bardiban trying to harm the other children, though
at the time parents took it as rough housing kids. The
Elentari's refused to give into Bardiban. Noser swore
he'd die before he ever sided with Bardiban or let Bardiban
take his throne. Bardiban thought of the Elentari's
as a nuisance that needed to be removed from his way.
But he found himself lustful for their oldest daughter
Mysterii who was just two years younger than he.
Mysterii Elentari quickly rejected Bardiban Hartendale.
She was a rare bread that could read the hearts of man,
and within Bardiban she saw an endless evil more inhuman
than a demon. She feared him and shunned his advances.
Bardiban became so enraged from her rejections, that
one night while she was out for a walk he ambushed her
with some of his men, killed her guards and rapped and
tortured her. He burned her eyes out with red hot pokers.
He left her in the field for dead but she managed to
crawl up a hill towards her home and was spotted by
some of her father's guards.
She slowly recovered from her wounds but her eyes were
left forever white and misshapen. Surprising though
her face was scarred little by the ordeal. She learned
to cope with her blindness far better than anyone could
have ever dreamed. It was almost as if being blind was
as natural as having sight. She learned to maneuver
around objects as if she sensed they were there. Rarely
did she ever seem to suffer from the lack of sight.
She was however constantly plagued with headaches after
the horrid event.
Hartendale delved into the Blackest of Arts called
Qafisdis after the God of Evil himself. Bardiban devoted
his life to his dark God and Qafisdis blessed Bardiban
with immortality. The Dark God taught Hatendale in the
arts of torture, the blackest of magic's, and how to
command an army of Nightmarish Horrors.
Hartendale's armies attacked the Elentari castle during
the night in the year of 60 of Maustflish. His armies
were overwhelming in numbers with unspeakable horrors
that none had ever seen. The castle was burned almost
to the ground and the entire Elentari family perished
in the following battles that ensued in the ruined remains
of their home. Or so Bardiban Hartendale thought. But
one did survive, Mysterii. She escaped through an ancient
passage in the bowels of the castle and fled into the
She was found the next morning by a friendly patrol.
She told them of what had befallen her family and home.
The soldiers already knew. Evil things had been spotted
in nearby towns killing and looting, destroying everything
in sight. They saw many of the evils moving towards
the castles of Elentari and Hartendale and were on the
move to investigate. She insisted on traveling with
the soldiers. She had nowhere else to go. They were
hesitant at first, but Mysterii was very persistent
and insisted they needed a healer among them to tend
to the wounded since theirs had been killed the night
They soon learned how valuable she was to them. Mysterii
went around during battle finding wounded and helping
them, either to assist them in caring for their wounds,
or to help their souls pass more easily to the next
world. She always cheered the spirits of the troops
and never showed fear even in the fiercest battles.
During the battle of Ridderfed in the 61 of Maustflish
Mysterii went to the aid of a dying soldier. His limbs
had been ripped from his body. He was bleeding out fast,
but his will was strong, and his fear of death even
more so. He clung so tight to life, it broke her heart
but she knew he was dead. She recognized him as a soldier
she had come to know in the last few months on the battle
fields. He had helped her care for the wounded men after
battles and was learning healing skills quickly from
her. He was just 16; Ridderfed was only his 3rd battle.
He, like her, was an orphan and they had taken comfort
in knowing that the other understood. Lydian Hep was
his name, she would never forget. She sat their, tears
welling in her eyes as she gently held him close to
her, her clothes becoming soaked in his blood. She talked
with him till he did finally pass. She sat for a moment
holding him close when a loud blast erupted not far
from her and she heard the screams of several men.
She traveled in the path of the screams and found three
men who had been badly wounded trying to get away from
the cannon fodder. She quickly helped the first two
out of the way and was going back to help the third.
He was far more injured and she was having trouble assisting
him. Cannonballs were falling all around them and he
urged her to just leave him behind and save herself.
But Mysterii never left anyone behind if she thought
there was half a chance of saving them.
There was an explosion; the air became thick with smoke.
The two other men could not see Mysterii or the man
she had been helping. They went searching for them but
only found two bloodied bodies of what they thought
had been Mysterii and their comrade. The troops were
deeply sadden by the loss of Mysterii and gave her an
honorable burial that fit the princess and gentle healer
she had been.
Mysterii lay still in her grave, silent, but the goddess
Anowar took pity on Mysterii Elentari and willed her
to live once more. She told Mysterii that she was of
more use here on Abinasia than in the afterlife. She
had done many good deeds and learned to use her natural
aptitude for magic and mind powers like no other ever
had. She instructed her most beloved companion Delgarath
to accompany Mysterii on her travels and keep her safe
from harm. She also gave Mysterii a Phantom Ball to
use in battle if she needed.
Ever since, the legend goes, that Mysterii has traveled
the lands assisting those in need and trying to keep
mankind safe from all the would be Hartendale's. Mysterii
and Bardiban never actually met face to face again after
the day that he had permanently scared her. But she
helped countless numbers of soldiers in their battles
with Hartendale's minions.
© Megan Noël Wilber, 2003