Chapter 70:

The Gørviligr

The Children of Eris

During the War of Unification, the Summer Lands were originally ruled by the Elves.Bookmark here

Despite the war raging around them in the south-east, the Summer Lands broke out into a civil war between two distinct political factions, known respectively as the Trú and the Gørviligr.Bookmark here

Every decade, the kingdom would hold an election to choose whether it would be the leader of the Trú or the Gørviligr that would rule the city for the next ten years. The elections were always peaceful, fair and both sides thoroughly checked for any tampering or interference with the votes.Bookmark here

Five years before the civil war began, the Trú's leader Parthas was elected to led the Summer Lands but, unlike the rulers of the land before him, he was power hungry. He wanted to solidify his control over the city of Elvast and the Summer Lands no matter the cost and, to do so, he needed to reduce the power of all those around him, especially that of his main political rival, the Gørviligr head Dormund.Bookmark here

When war broke out between the other seven kingdoms of the south-east, Parthas began making plans to slowly change the laws of the Summer Lands to reduce not only his own council’s powers, but also Dormund’s power and influence over the kingdom.Bookmark here

The action did not go unnoticed and thus the Gørviligr leaders started spreading the truth to the Summer Lands about the High King’s attempts, which angered the Gørviligr communities greatly. The Trú, however, were divided on the issue as Parthas was quite popular among them and, publicly, he didn’t appear to be someone who would do such a thing.Bookmark here

Parthas, in turn, denounced Dormund, saying that it was him who was lying, that he was the one trying to consolidate power. Bookmark here

Tensions continued to rise as both sides tried to tell their side of the story until the country was on the brink of civil conflict.Bookmark here

The critical moment came when Parthas ordered his own daughter brutally murdered and framed the Gørviligr for it.Bookmark here

The country broke out into civil war the next day and ravaged the kingdom for most of the war of Unification.Bookmark here

When Saint Themis and her Holy Legion arrived, the Trú made their case to Themis who wholeheartedly believed them and sided with them in the conflict.Bookmark here

Karak-Harth, who still served on her council, said that he was highly suspicious of the Trú and that all might not be as it seemed; Themis, however, didn’t listen to him and joined the war against the Gørviligr.Bookmark here

After two months, the war was over and it seemed as though all the Gørviligr, including Dormund, had been annihilated.Bookmark here

As the war had progressed, Themis had grown doubtful about the Trú and their intentions and even sent Karak-Harth to investigate them further but, by the time they uncovered the truth, the war was over.Bookmark here

The newly anointed High King Parthas submitted himself before Themis and praised her as their saviour, which disgusted the young Saint who then secretly rewrote the terms of their alliance. She took all power away from the High King and limited his influence to nothing more than a mayor of Elvast, and made sure that her laws were far more important than his ever could be.Bookmark here

Per Karak-Harth’s council, Themis did not reveal the truth to the world about the Elven Civil War and the Summer Lands officially joined the Holy Empire.Bookmark here

While most believed that the Gørviligr died during the war, a small handful of them had escaped and retreated to the peaks of the mountains beside the Goddess’s Eye Lake, hidden away from the eyes of the Holy Empire.Bookmark here

Over the next few hundred years, they slowly became a prospering mountain people, but they never forgot their hatred and vengeance towards the Trú and Themis herself.Bookmark here

When David had arrived in their lands with the twins, he’d been very impressed at the Incan-like civilisation they’d developed in their new homes.Bookmark here

They lived off livestock and traded goods based on what the two barterers deemed of equal-value; they hunted powerful beasts that resided in the mountains and had built many great stone buildings.Bookmark here

There were more than seventy small villages built across multiple peaks connected only by strong rope bridges.Bookmark here

The Gørviligr had warmly welcomed David and the twins into their land, respecting him as the Dark Lord and they treated him like royalty.Bookmark here

When David proposed an alliance to the Chieftain, the Chieftain couldn’t accept quickly enough; he even offered David his daughters to tie their peoples together.Bookmark here

David had politely turned down his offer, saying that the feeling was more than enough, and then he offered them the chance to get their long-held vengeance on the Holy Empire.Bookmark here

“If it would bring about the justice we have sought all these years, then my people would follow you anywhere, sire.”Bookmark here

“That is not all I shall offer you, Chieftain. Once my empire has risen, Elvast shall be yours,” David promised.Bookmark here

The Gørviligr Chieftain cried when David made that vow. Bookmark here

The Chieftain pledged all of their hundred thousand people, including their twenty thousand soldiers and hunters, to David’s cause.Bookmark here

The two then spent the next few days drawing out the details to sign an official alliance between the two peoples. The negotiations were long, but they concluded happily for both groups.Bookmark here

“Master, my lord, please allow me to read the final terms to all those gathered before either leader signs,” Charybdis declared.Bookmark here

For the official signing of the alliance document, the Chieftain had opened up the largest stone hall in the villages for all to hear. Bookmark here

Thousands of locals had gathered to see the historic moment and were eagerly awaiting its signing.Bookmark here

While there were many small terms, clauses, conditions and agreements on the treaty, Charybdis would only be covering the three main ones in her statement.Bookmark here

“First, in exchange for military support and assistance in managing the Demon Empire, the Gørviligr will be officially recognised as citizens of the Demon Empire and be given the territory of Elvast as their own city. However, while they will not be an independent city state, they will be allowed to rule the city as they see fit within reason, so long as they keep within the express guidelines of the Demon Emperor’s wishes.Bookmark here

“Second, as citizens of the Demon Emperor, the Gørviligr henceforth pledge their military force in its entirety to march under the Satyr’s Skull banner as soldiers of the Demon Empire and that they will never rebel or break the laws of the Demon Empire as decreed by the Demon Emperor himself. However, should any of the decrees or laws treat the Gørviligr unfairly as citizens of the Demon Empire, then they reserve the right to withdraw from the alliance so long as they give fair warning and notice to his majesty the Demon EmperorBookmark here

“Finally, the Gørviligr swear eternal loyalty to the Demon Emperor in exchange for the agreed above terms of the treaty.Bookmark here

“If both parties agree to these terms and the others of the treaty between our master and your chieftain, would both representatives please sign this document in the eyes of these witnesses?” Charybdis concluded with a sweet smile, placing the treaty on the table.Bookmark here

The Gørviligr chieftain was the first to pick up his quill to sign the document. With a hearty smile, he signed the document and gently pushed the treaty over towards David. David took up his quill and signed the treaty as well, slowly and carefully, making sure that he didn’t mess up his signature.Bookmark here

The last thing I need is to mess up and embarrass myself at the end of a long negotiation for this alliance, David thought. Bookmark here

Once he was done, David put his quill down on the table just as the Gørviligr chieftain extended his hand to David.Bookmark here

“It has been a pleasure and an honour to speak with you and reach this beneficial agreement, your majesty,” he said.Bookmark here

“The pleasure has been mine, my lord,” David said back, firmly shaking the man’s hand.Bookmark here

The room then broke out into applause and handshakes as the Gørviligr officially became part of the Demon Empire.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.