The Holly King & the Oak King
Scribed by the Herald’s Own Anya Kneasen-Gagg
At the peak of the Midsummer celebrations at Caer Danon, a small party of Harts made their way to the Serenity circle, lying within the Vale of Avalon in Albion. Upon the group’s arrival they were met by spirits. Years of neglect had meant they had forgotten who they were, and as it turns out, they were the Holly and Oak Kings, the representations of the seasons.
The spirits had lost the memory, and lost themselves, and after some discussion the Harts in attendance would show them. The first to be shown was the Holly King. Both Fenrir of the Crows, who hails from Norsca, and Earl of Carlisle, Wyndrake Winterheart put themselves forward to represent the Holly King. To make the decision and show that they were as rugged and fierce as the season of winter, they fought, and Fenrir was the victor.
Icthus Rayne of the Company of the Blackened Staff was unopposed as the Oak King, who demonstrated that he understood the meaning and importance of summer. This was done through a rite, performed by Her Majesty, Queen Eloise, and the Oak King’s crown was grown from a seed. The spirits decreed that blood must be shed, and that a sacrifice must be made. Each King agreed to these terms and the Harts in attendance split into two sides, to act out a battle between the pair, winter against summer, Holly against Oak. Fenrir, the Holly King, was again the victor, as Icthus, the Oak King, sacrificed himself.
His blood on the ground appeased the spirits, and although Master Healer Scarlet was sure she had stopped his wounds from bleeding further, his body vanished entirely.
The spirits, like the seasons were unforgiving, and we left, returning to Caer Danon without him. At least that is what we believed, until we transported back and to our surprise, lying amongst us, was Icthus, unconscious. Healing magic restored all of us, including Icthus, and he awoke and told us what had happened. He had went into the mists, and they had allowed him to ask questions. He had asked if his sacrifice was accepted, and was told that it was. He asked what the mists are, and was told that they are the Oak and Holly King, as well as others who are long forgotten. He asked how we can remove the mists from Avalon, and was told the mists must stay as protection. He asked if we must continue these sacrifices, he was told that we did not, but that we must return to Serenity and honour the Oak and Holly King every year and that we have a choice to have an endless summer, that will scorch the earth, an endless winter that will freeze all life, or the continuation of the seasons.
Icthus chose the obviously answer, the continuation of the seasons. It is best that this message is not forgotten, and that we revisit as requested, so that blood does not need to be spilled again.