The Vengeance of Biandreth Myth in Creus | World Anvil
BUILD YOUR OWN WORLD Like what you see? Become the Master of your own Universe!

Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild

The Vengeance of Biandreth

"Alright, who's ready for the spooky story hour?" Alistair opened the door to the ward, where children were busy hitting each other with rolled up sheets. "Anyone? Nobody at all?"
"I am!" A little girl piped up, but the rest of the children ignored Alistair's presence. He patted her on the head, sighed, then held a finger to his throat.
"The spooky story hour begins NOW." A bit of magical charge to his own vocal cords and he could deepen his voice to a demon's; the children jumped at the voice and looked up.
"How did you do that?" A disheveled boy, no older than six, held his own finger to his throat. "Uhhhhhh. It's not working."
"That's because it's magic." Alistair pulled up a chair and sat down. "Now that I have your attention, it is bedtime, but I've got a story for you before you're off to sleep. A story that shows you what happens when the unruly children don't listen to the magical wizard. Gather round and we can knock this out quickly."
Phanae put a finger on Alistair's head and held an annoyed tone. "You're not here to 'knock this out quickly', moron, you're here to spend quality time with orphans."
"Alright, alright, fine, you win." The children giggled at the exchange as Alistair put out the lanterns; the only light in the room was Phanae's small hand lamp. "With the atmosphere ready, let's begin."


There was once a small town on a river; the town was called Biandreth, after the local river and water god that the townsfolk worshipped. The people who lived in this town knew that they were lucky, for the river provided everything they needed and they worshiped and sacrificed to the river in turn. All sorts of things would come down in the river, freshwater to drink, fish to eat, the occasional treasure washing up on the river banks, and sometimes things that the older folk wouldn't let the kids see, and every so often the villagers would get together and sacrifice a duck or throw in weave. Everyone was happy in Biandreth, until a day came when the river turned red and black. Nobody was allowed outside that day, and when the night fell, the people who turned the river red had come down the river to do the same to the town.

There was a boy and his father who had been hunting that day, and upon their return the father fell into despair, as the rest of his family and friends had been slaughtered. The boy found his father in the river the next day. He had sacrificed himself to the river, the first human sacrifice the village had ever given. A voice behind the boy spoke.

"What is your desire?"

The boy turned, and a young girl was sitting on a rock behind him. Blue of hair and fair of skin yet with an inky blackness to the eyes. She asked again.

"What is your desire?"

The boy turned back to the body of his father. "I want things to go back to the way they are."

The girl shook her head. "That is beyond my power, or that of anyone. Only the future may be changed."

The boy looked at the shattered village. "Then I want the people who did this to pay."

The girl nodded. "If that is your wish. You will have your vengeance, but it will have a cost."

The boy narrowed his eyes. "I will pay any price."

Such was the bargain struck by the last survivor of Biandreth, and he was never to be seen again. And the river dried.

The people that had destroyed the village were raiders from a the neighboring land of Mezeid; they had come to settle a score, but the reasoning and politics was beyond that of the river god, who knew no human politics or reasoning. The return of the warriors to their homeland was greeted with great fanfare, but it was not to last. Drought struck the land, and famine followed, and those who thought about such things wondered if this was a portent.

And the corpses were found. The men who had participated in the raid began to turn up across the land, their bodies twisted and ripped, terror carved into their faces by nail and claw, their families piled as cordwood, their farmsteads not burned, but sundered, great gashes of black ichor streaking and defiling the land. The wild animals of the area were nowhere to be seen, and those animals kept by humans spent their last days in a frantic push to escape, strangling themselves by the collar or smashing their heads in against their confinement.

Eventually, the survivors of the land sought refuge in Mezeid's keep, and they waited and prayed for salvation. A sentry spotted a lone figure walking through the deserted town, a shade, not just wearing black, but composed of it, a hole in the world where light provided no comfort. It walked up to the keep's outer bridge and stood.

"There is one left."

The survivors knew immediately what to do, and the last of the former raiders and his family was shoved out of the gate. The man fell to his knees and begged for mercy.

"My life is forfeit, I've known that, but I beg of you and the gods, spare my family! They are sinless!"

The shade shook its head. "You will survive. You will retell the story of what happened here. But as for those who betrayed you in your hour of need." The shade turned to the gatehouse. "The final act."

And with a flick of the wrist, a vicious ichor began to hail from the skies towards the keep, and the screaming began. The ichor ate through stone, wood, and flesh, and the last refuge of Mezeid became the last tomb of its people. The horrified man turned around to see that the shade had vanished.

The river Biandreth flows today, but none live near the cursed waters. The land of Mezeid remains blighted and forlorn. But travelers to either will occasionally see a young girl, with eyes of blue and tears of night, laughing and playing in the distance. Or, if less lucky than most, a solemn boy, wreathed in ichor, watching with eyes of hate.

Historical Basis

Archaeological evidence and oral history suggests that there was a kingdom of Mezeid at some point in ancient history, but its destruction is attributed to plague, not supernatural vengeance. Several suggestions for the river Biandreth have been put forward, but the course of many rivers have changed and it is unlikely the identity of the original river will be known for certain.


The myth of Biandreth, according to its own telling, was spread far and wide by the lone survivor of the events, entering the oral histories of tribal societies prior to modern times. The earliest book recounting the myth in its entirety dates to roughly the year 250.

Cultural Reception

This tale has been frightening children for many years; adults consider it a warning against abject cruelty. The occasional theatrical production is staged retelling the myth, but the relatively depressing subject matter makes such plays somewhat unpopular in the public.

In Literature

The Vengeance is a staple in children's mythology texts and in studies of cultural anthropology.

In Art

A mural depicting the rain of ichor is present on a residential building's wall in the Etoile Capital City, and a few stage adaptations have been written and performed.
Date of First Recording

Remove these ads. Join the Worldbuilders Guild


Please Login in order to comment!