The Book of Magnus
II – The Book of Magnus
Magnus was the bastard son of a warlord and a foreign princess his father was keeping prisoner. He was separated from his mother at a young age and enlisted in the warlord’s army. Magnus’ mother left him a gold ring shaped like a Phoenix as a memento of her.
In time, Magnus became an officer in his father’s army. He accumulated victories after victories, but never felt any satisfaction for it. One day he defeated a group of followers of the Prophet. It had been a hard battle to win, as the Believers were led by Principe, a former warlord and companion of Melvin Righteous-Arm. This is when he first felt the Void in the devastation of the battlefield. Magnus walked through the corpses of horses and men to the tent of his defeated adversary. He found Principe dying from a mortal wound, but with an air of fulfillment on his face. Puzzled, Magnus asked him: “how is it that you, vanquished and dying, are happier than me, who prevailed, but can’t get any joy from my victories”. Principe replied: “You fight for Nothing. Your victories only bring emptiness. You create a desert and call it peace. I fight for my Belief in the Prophet. Today I die a Martyr of my Faith.” At these words, Magnus sheeted his sword and swore to take it out of its scabbard only for a cause worth fighting for. He abandoned his army and joined the Believers.
Magnus pulled his sword out of its scabbard again when the time came to defend the Believers against neighbouring warlords, and used it to carve a fief that would become a safe haven for the followers of the Prophet. He also defended his new subjects against unnatural creatures. One day, a bird of fire challenged Magnus, calling him a thief and an imposter for using the Phoenix as his sigil. The bird attacked and wounded Magnus, but the blood flowing from Magnus’s wounds extinguished the bird’s fire, leaving only a frail creature that fled in the woods.
During the years that followed, Magnus’ barony expanded to a kingdom, not at the point of a sword, but through diplomacy. He extended his protection to the Believers of Darica, and the Cardinal of the South made him a King. He sent envoys to Maeldwins in the East, and Paladins who had trained as squire under Melvin Righteous-Arm joined his cause. One day, he showed up to a town in what had been the Kingdome of Faenarild. The local warlord had just died, and the sheriff of the town decided to open the gates of the city to Magnus so he could restore peace and order. Magnus also made an alliance with King Melwas, or the green island of Kymuria, who was also a believer, and provided him a crown blessed by the Cardinal of the South for his coronation. Magnus became known for his Honour and Honesty in conducting diplomatic relations, which gained him many allies.
His greatest achievement was to unite all the Believers of the South into one Empire. A complex patchwork of treaties, alliances and marriages allowed Magnus to bring together his reborn Kingdome of Faenarild with the Kingdoms of Prevoria, Kymuria, and the Duchy of Sprag, home of Kelvin’s Legion. Later, Darica also fell into the fold after a slave revolt. Most of the South was then under the two-headed leadership of the Emperor and the Cardinal.
There was however one war that Magnus had to keep fighting again and again. A monster named Python was rampaging through Faenarild every year. Every year, Magnus had to go back to fight Python until the creature would return to its lair located near a lake. One year, as Magnus was sleeping in a small village near the area where Python was, Goblins came into the night and stole his magic wepons and armours. The next day, having no weapon that could harm the monster, Magnus decided to negotiate with it. Python told Magnus that he would only stop if he was given an immortal as a sacrifice. Being of the Phoenix blood by his mother, Magnus offered himself in exchange for forty years of peace. Python accepted the deal and devoured Magnus.