Friday, May 17, 2013

May to Z: H & I

Hendar "home ruler"
He is the rich and philandering ruler of Halmond and boasts descent from the great King Hammund that settled the rich farm county by driving the goat-herder dwarves from their mountain halls. His title was actually taken through marriage to the queen, Harietta (also meaning "home ruler"), a great-great-grand niece of the mighty king.

Hendar becomes bored with feasting in his high hall and hunting wild hare among the hills, so he decides to accompany his tax collectors on their annual passage through the farms of the lowly Hayden Valley. It is on this hunt of a different kind that Hendar's eye becomes fixed on the lovely farm worker Idella.

She wants nothing to do with the brash and oft drunken lord, but he threatens to seize her family hay farm, driving her brother Erwyn and all their laborers into starvation, if not having them thrown in his dungeons. To save everything she's ever known destroyed, Idella submits and allows Hendar to bed her. Because he is exceeding drunk when he finally comes to her, the boastful king's performance is lackluster at best. Afterwards, Idella cannot stop weeping and Hendar casts her out believing she is weeping at his failure to perform. He swears that if he ever lays eyes on her again, he'll have her tears silenced forever.

Even sadder still is that his brief passion was not as much a failure as one would hope. Idella soon finds herself with child. She is so ashamed of the one dreadful night with the king that she never leaves the farm once her pregnancy begins to show. Her brother Erwyn is terrified that rumor will spread back to the sot of a king and he'll kill Idella and the baby to hide his indiscretion from the queen. As such, Erwyn is forced to slander his sister and tell townsfolk that she has lain with several of the farm hands and does not know who the father of the child is. When Idella goes into labor and the baby has not turned, she must have an "assisted birth." The only one in the area that knows how to do such a thing is the cattle herder Johandra in the next village. Erwyn rides through a torrential rain to fetch the birthing woman and save his sister. Johandra is too large to ride a horse and thus runs the 15 miles from her ranch to Erwyn's door and saves the baby. Idella does not survive the procedure. Brokenhearted as Erwyn is, he believes it best that she not have to raise the child that she didn't wish for and who is so clearly the king's son. Johandra is not afraid of the stumbling despot and, amidst the screams of Idella's labor and peels of thunder, gives the boy his name: Hendarson.

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