The Story of the Spring Hawk

Author and date unknown – Entered achived around 1100AF
One day while out on a picnic near a magnificent lake, the Queen of the Fae was quarrelling with one of her cousins. They argued for many hours over who was the wealthiest of all the Fea. The Queen insisted that it was surely herself, while her cousin insisted that it was a handsome Fae who lived amongst the mortals. The Queen taunted her Cousin, saying he’s a kept man doing the will of his mortal wife and that the Fae owned nothing, as his wife wore the trousers in their relationship. The argument went on for some time and in the end it was the Fae’s magnificent white horses that were the deciding factor in their measuring of possessions. The queen could not claim that they belong to the mortal for the Fae had never shown the horses to his mortal wife. The cousin left the picnic triumphant as the winner of the argument.
But, the queen was a bad loser. She couldn’t let her cousin win and she certainly couldn’t be in second place to another. So she sent her messenger to the far reaches of Arcadia with a box of riches to rent their famed Brown Stallions for a year, thus giving her the advantage over this mortal loving outcast.
The horse’s owner was agreeable with this deal and gave the horses to the Queen of the Fae for a year and a day. After the deal was struck the messenger and his party got drunk to celebrate their great achievement. During their stupor they revealed that had they not been allowed to borrow the Stallions they would have taken them by force. Outraged by their insolence the horse’s owner immediately broke the deal.
He threw back the box of riches at the Queen and took his great Stallions back leaving the poor Fae with no mounts and the Queen with no trophy to prove her importance. Outraged and still jealous of the fine Stallions owned by a lesser Fae she decided on war. If she couldn’t get better horses she would have to make do with the other Fae’s horses instead.
The queen travelled to where she her warriors and allies were marshalled by the great white hart in the land occupied by the Fae and told them of their crusade to capture back the horses that rightfully belonged to her.
Scared of what she would do if told the truth the Queen’s Seers each gave a favourable omen to the Queen insisting victory would be hers if she waited for summer to end. But, one of the seers could not lie to his Queen as she sat waiting for summer to end, the seer plucked up the courage to tell her the truth. He appeared at her side and whispered a warning of impending defeat at the hand of the Great Hawk, a champion of the lands they resided in. The seer told the tale of how the Hawk was born at the very moment spring begun and was
blessed with the gift of eternal life. The seer told how even the mighty sea wasn’t powerful enough to kill the great Hawk of the spring and how he had survived drowning in the fiercest of storms. The Queen screamed at the poor seer for suggesting that it was possible for one man (a mortal at that) to be able to stop the might of her whole army. An army that had to be the best army in the world because, it belonged to the most powerful and Fae ever to exist. The Queen ignored the warning and laughed at the brave seer banishing them from her sight.
Just as the prophecy predicted, as the Fae force moved to engage the soldiers of the land; the great spring Hawk harassed the Fae soldiers, swooping again and again, with his mighty bow killing any who strayed from the main force. As the Fae losses grew, a member of Albion, who was having a secret affair with The Queen, decided he would meet with the Hawk and try to shut him down and prevent the Hawk from doing any more damage. Using knowledge of his honour that he had gained from serving alongside the Hawk in the past. He tells the Queen
to offer the Great Hawk a treaty where he would be unable to attack any Fae and the Queen’s forces would not advanced until the Hawk was defeated in a fair challenge of single-handed combat. The great hawk accepted the challenge.
One by one, day after day, The Hawk defeated each champion that the Queen sent to challenge him, until eventually he had to face the Queens lover, his former friend. The Hawk pleaded with his old friend to leave, but he refused, laughing. For three whole days they fought and finally on the evening of the third day, The Hawk flew into a heedless killing rage and lets loose with his bow destroying his friend.
As his old ally falls, The Hawk catches him and carries him to the riverbank, lamenting. Overcome by despair, The Hawk abandoned the fight. Without the Hawk to harry the forces the Queen’s army quickly advanced onto the home of the great white stallions and steals them turning around ready to return them to Arcadia.
Blaming the Queen for his friend’s death the Hawk rushed to block the Fae retreat with a unit of Albion’s finest. In the battle that followed, the Fae army was routed and the great Hawk faced down the Queens command group only. In a rage he killed them all one by one until only the Queen was left standing opposite him. He raised his sword high above his head and cursed her for causing the death of his old friend. Just as he brought the blade down towards the Queen he noticed a tear in her eye and stopped. He called to her to tell him why she cried and was so moved by the story of her love for his former friend that the mighty Hawk spared the Queen’s life. He forced her to return home to the realm far Arcadia with the loss of her lover as punishment. A punishment that she still carries heavily to this day.