The Sundering of Albion
Taken from records uncovered by our Bards, in the Faction Archives
At the beginning of the Gathering of 1094, held in Erin, the Harts did not exist as a Faction. The Lions most certainly did. The Lions were led by Lord General Corvus of House Corvidae. He was the leader of the Council of Lords General set up to rule Albion in the continuing absence of a King. The last King had disappeared many years ago and the Council ruled the Land. Lord General Corvus was a powerful man and he was pre-eminent in the Council and therefore he was ruler of Albion. For many years he had ruled well and while his militaristic style did not gain the approval of all he was well respected and willingly followed.
However already foul creatures were influencing his mind. At the urging of his consort, Roxanne, he wanted to be King. He knew that this would be unpalatable to many of his Faction and was indeed warned by some to steer away from his course, but he did not.
Come Saturday afternoon of the Gathering 1094, the atmosphere in the Lions Camp was very strained. Lord Desmond D’Arby, the erstwhile leader of the Hunters, had been exposed as a traitor and a murderer nd had been slain in trial by combat by one Jaspar Karlennon, whose father had in fact been slain as a result of Desmond’s machinations.
The Hunters had sent for Duke Arcalinas Sorontar from the Huntshire, but until he arrived Countess Ailish O’Donovan spoke for the Hunters and tried to reaffirm their allegiance to both Albion and Corvus as her leader. Corvus refused to allow the Countess to swear any oath; he had sent her away telling her to be sure of the whole group’s loyalty.
This caused great upset to the Hunters and their allies, and there were discussions over what would happen next – indeed the possibility that Corvus would declare himself King was considered.
Many present said that they would follow him as anything but King. A few would follow Corvus anyway.
Then while all at the Gathering held their breath, ready for the fight between the Grand Master Mage, Floris Ilias and the challenger Brand; Corvus alled in his allies the Wolves and knowing that most who would oppose him were not in camp he declared himself to be King.
Messages were sent to those who would oppose Corvus and many looked to his niece, Elspeth Karlennon, Regent to her infant son Elias, Lord General of Eaton. She begged her uncle to step aside from his course. She offered to follow him under any title, other than King. For the Sword Excalibur must point to the True King and the sword was not there.
He would not listen – and most vociferous in Corvus’ cause was the Demon, Roxanne. Eventually and with great reluctance all accepted that Corvus had decided and none could sway him. Thus those who would not follow Corvus declared their intent to oppose him, by arms if necessary. Lady Elspeth stood as Speaker for them all. The rebels, for that is what they were, gave themselves a name, the Harts of Albion.
The 1094 Gathering ended in a battle as Gatherings usually do, but this time it was for the rulership of Albion. The battle lines were drawn – those who supported the Harts and those who supported Corvus.
The Celtic Factions, the Dragons and the Bears would have opposed Corvus anyway after the years they had suffered under his raids and land claims. The Vipers sided with the Harts because they disliked Corvus and wanted to fight on the side of the Dragons, also the Cobras fought for Corvus. The Wolves also allied themselves with the Harts; they had been good friends with Corvus and the Lions but could not stand the insults that Corvus had thrown in the face of Lord Wolf when he had attempted to negotiate a diplomatic solution.
So the Lions fought with the Gryphons, the Tarantulas, the Cobras and the Unicorns. The battle did not last long, the Harts and their allies quickly began to overpower the foe and soon Corvus’ banner was seen leaving the field in haste. The Harts were declared the winners and would return home to Albion victorious.
Having been victorious in battle the Harts thought that Corvus would then come to them to make peace and a solution to the situation could be found. This was not to be the case.
Corvus holed himself up in Duke Anree’s town of Norhault and continued to act as if he were sole Ruler of Albion without giving thought to the results of his actions at the Gathering. But his decline was obvious, he was unable to keep his temper nor indeed his allies. He called for a Parliament in the early Spring of 1095 and invited Lady Speaker Elspeth to speak for the “rebels”. She attended because beyond anything the Harts wanted to avoid full civil war upon Albion soil. At this Parliament Corvus, who was still the Lady’s uncle, offered such insults to her and the Harts that Duke Anree stood to object – he was one of Corvus’ strongest supporters and yet Corvus refused to even allow him to speak. Baron Lachlann of the Dragons who had attended as an invited envoy was offered such insult that the Lady Elspeth offered him the sanctuary of their group and Hart-held Albion because Corvus would not have let him return to Erin
As a result of this debacle; the Slayers under Duke Anree asked to join the Harts, Corvus’ actions having invalidated Anree’s oath to Corvus. The Steppe Alliance under the leadership of Tamarlane Khan of the Mongols asked to keep their herds in Harts Albion because they could no longer trust Corvus. Thus the Harts grew stronger and the Lions weaker.
Corvus then fled to Bristol where he was sheltered by Jaddvor Erland, once Captain of the Guard.
Throughout the year the Harts strength grew; the Harts stood for Justice in the Land and for the Pendragon Throne. There was no way that they would submit the Land to civil war and so resolved to await the next Gathering to deal with Corvus.