Let us tell you a tale.
≈ VI ≈
i. The Quest For Hearthstone
The temperate southern reaches of Midgard make up the southmost map edge of the kingdom of Beardenheim, home of the men of the realm of Beardsgaard.
When Haeredion was a child, too young to remember this story from aught but his mother’s telling, he left home, setting out beyond the hill at the edge of their village. When he was returned a week later by a fisherman, he told his mother how he had been studying his father’s maps and had wondered what lay beyond the edge of the page.
Their village was lettered near the bottom right edge, and in his young mind, if he walked southeast, he could walk right to the edge of the world, which he imagined ended in a square corner, like a piece of parchment. It had not, it had simply ended in the Southern Sea, as did the south of Shavehalla, it’s spectacular sights detailed well on his father’s maps.
His father had been a mapmaker, and while he had had a hand in bringing Haeredion into the world, he had been with his family for little else. Instead, he traveled the world, charting its forms and features, and returning home every year to redraw his evolving masterpiece, a master map of the known world, bigger and wider and with more detail than the year before.
The year young Haeredion had set off exploring had reminded his father that he still needed to flesh out the southeast, and he did, despite there being little of note there, save for the rolling hills and filament-fine streams and ponds that flowed through the tranquil landscape.
As Haeredion grew, he explored the nearby edges of his father’s maps, setting out to the east to find great mountains interspersed with wide plains, and small villages much like his own. He would leave those dull parts to his father to explore, he decided. He had his eye set toward more exciting places.