The Legend of the Golden Gauntlet

The Legend of the Golden Gauntlet

In 1020 B.K.A., the battle god Krunk reigned in Ladzus. Krunk was an evil, chaotic god who idolized and followed the war god Bane in his customs. Together, they spread chaos and death to anyone desperate enough to invite them in.

Ladzus existed in a state of primitive social chaos at the time. The races lived in clans whose sole measure of a being was its strength on the battlefield, for when it came to battle as it so often did, whole clans would disappear into nothingness.

Krunk’s cruelty was legend, though he never deigned to speak with mortals. His demigods did his bidding, manipulating earth and fire to bring strife to Krunk’s enemies. Most beloved—if anyone could be considered such—to Krunk were the undefeated warriors of the land. Among them was his son Kord. Kord sprung from a dalliance with what Krunk considered a “soft” goddess, Avandra. Krunk had hoped one day to make a demigod of him, but he had never dreamed that Kord would become a warrior on his own. For, though Kord was certain his father had a hand in his every battle, the truth was that his actions were his own—unaided by his aloof godly parents.

One year, Kord came to his father with a problem. The king of Fnord had used dark magic to protect himself indefinitely from attackers. It was a clever, but in Kord’s opinion unfair, tactic. A king untouchable was no less than a god. Kord entreated Krunk to enact a rule whereby any good and true ruler must face and defeat enemies of his own caliber on the battlefield in order to remain in power. The idea enraged Krunk, who banished Kord from Ladzus for suggesting he bring law to the chaos of battle.

Kord became a demigod under Avandra. But it continued to irk him that tyrants grew unchecked across the worlds. So sixteen centuries ago, Kord sought to do the impossible—dethrone his lordly father.

Kord challenged Krunk to prove his superiority. The soul of Ladzus, it was said, was part of Krunk—as immortal as he, and directly connected in every way to his being. Kord claimed the world would thrive under his new order—that vegetation would flourish and all the races would explode in population when he brought law to battle.

Krunk ignored his challenge, choosing instead to send his demigods to kill Kord. Avandra, hearing of the situation, entreated Erathis to interfere. Erathis assured Avandra that if Krunk perished, Ladzus would cease to be. It was the way of the universe; a world was part of its god and vice versa. Nothing of meaning could be done to save Kord unless he escaped and never returned to Ladzus.

Kord did not run. He proceeded to slay each of Krunk’s demigods in turn, and with each death, Ladzus seemed to turn on its god a little more. Storms raged, and beasts who had been bent to Krunk’s will defied his priests. When the final demigod came to the field, the land itself seemed to be on Kord’s side. Fire fizzled out when it hit his rain-soaked camps, but raged and spread in Krunk’s. Mud pits swallowed whole platoons as they marched toward Kord’s front line. Kord fought the final demigod in melee combat in a bit of land raised just for the event. Weak and bloodied, the demigod was moments from death when a basilisk leapt out of the sea and swallowed him whole.

In the godly realm, Erathis was entranced by what he saw. Rather than dying, the land itself seemed to be switching its loyalty before his eyes. Kord’s powers grew as strong as a god’s. Erathis challenged Krunk to meet his son in mortal form and fight for his world if he would keep it. Bane, the god of war, who Krunk had always envied, echoed the challenge.

So Krunk took the form of a giant and met Kord on the battlefield. The battle raged for the better part of a day until each combatant was bloodied and haggard. Kord was the first to fall, tripping as he lunged. Krunk raised his war hammer in triumph, but when he brought it down to deliver the finishing blow, Kord shifted out of the way. The hammer dug deep into the ground and stuck there. Kord whipped his broadsword around and decapitated Krunk’s mortal body.

Being a god, Krunk’s soul could not be killed. But with the blow, his soul’s connection to Ladzus was severed. It is said he tried for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years to make it back to his land—pressing in in the form of a ghoul or some other incorporeal beast. But if ever he did succeed, he found he had no power left in the world.

Kord, though triumphant, had taken dire wounds in the battle. His life drained from his human body as he lie looking at his father’s severed head. But unlike Krunk, Kord’s soul grew stronger as his human form faded. He appeared in the plane of Erathis, a fully formed god—the first demigod in the universe to ascend to true godhood.

Back on Ladzus, Kord brought order to the world. He issued a series of edicts that later became known as the Kordian Battle Creed. He ordered the beings in the world to put aside their fear of battle and accept it as godly and orderly, alleging that full-fledged war would never happen if battles were fought as they were needed. He scorned Bane and all he stood for.

Staying true to the disgust that led him to challenge his father, Kord fashioned a golden gauntlet—the throwing of which would require both the challenger and the challenged to assume mortal form and meet on the field of battle, be they kings, demigods, or true gods. Though the quest to retrieve the gauntlet would never be easy, the journey would prove its seeker worthy of being met in battle, preventing a high power from meeting daily gnats who required swatting.

Today, it is said the gauntlet has been used three times. It was first discovered in Eropia in year 442 where the tyrant who enraged Kord was challenged and beat by King Wexor whose line still rules Eropia today. The second time came in Fnord in 591, when the gnomish king challenged a dwarven demigod who hated gnomes. The gnome won, and the demigod fell. The third was in Trinigard in 810 as a githzera who desired the crown challenged the eladrin queen. The githzera fell.

Since the formation of Kordenia, the gauntlet has not surfaced, though some travelers claim to have found clues to its whereabouts. All claim it resides now in Kord’s own holy land, waiting for the next challenger bold enough to claim it and throw it at another’s feet.

The Legend of the Golden Gauntlet

Discord in Kordenia TheScarletLover