Disappearance of the Vákniþir
Don't ya go Hálfdaning around, kid! You know how that story ends.The story of Hálfdan's voyage is one that is commonly passed down by Vakner parents on the eastern shores of Henvikendal. The legend is a lesson in the dangers of uncontrolled greed and hubris and warns of the perils that face those who would dare sail beyond the safe waters to the deepest depths of the seas. It is the final tale in the legend of the Vákniþir, a symbol of unity and legitimacy to the people of Henvikendal.
The BeginningHálfdan Ubbasen was the son of a warrior sworn to the service of a powerful hólðelning, a man who controlled the lands that surround the modern-day city of Helgarðr. He aimed to walk his father's path so that he too could serve their liege lord, but by fate or the will of the divine, his path was forever altered when he discovered the Vákniþir.
VákniþirThe horn made of gold and decorated with what appeared to him as depictions of long lost events would set him on the course for greatness. Countless nights he would study the strange writing inscribed in the gold, but to no avail. One night, however, when two arrows had pierced his father's thigh, and a knife entered his heart, Hálfdan had finally made a breakthrough.
King of the HenvikishWith vengeance on his mind and a horn that seemingly knew the future, Hálfdan began his pursuit to avenge his father. The next artistic depiction on the Vákniþir showed a man with a sword in hand standing next to a throne. The body of a crowned man had been pushed from the seat and next to it lay a quiver with arrows. The prophetic piece of art had convinced him that the man his father had sworn to protect was involved in his murder. He knew that whatever supernatural force of prophecy was linked to the horn would guide him and that his duty was to follow the future. He had to kill his own lord.
Voyage to the EastFollowing his coronation, Hálfdan continued his studies into the prophecies on the golden horn. He was unable to decipher the meanings behind many of the images, but the final few prophesies were clear to him. The rows of artwork ended with the figure who had represented Hálfdan drinking water from a lake on a faraway island to the east. The Vákniþir depicted his body ascending into the clouds and joining other figures who he assumed were the gods.
HubrisThe allure of godhood had gotten to Hálfdan. He prepared himself for a journey to the east, skipping all the other steps that the Vákniþir had predicted. With the power and wealth he had as the king, he commissioned the most magnificent ship the Vakner people had ever built. Hálfdan knew the Kirreic ocean was deadly and that those who had tried sailing east before had never returned, but he had become overconfident from an excess of power. In his mind, he was already a god.
DownfallIt had taken the kingdom's best shipbuilders over several years to finish their masterwork, during which the king had become restless. As soon as he was able, Hálfdan assembled a crew and set sail. He took the horn with him, carrying it within an elaborately decorated container. Large crowds cheered as the ship left Helgarðr, but that was the last they saw of their legendary monarch. After the voyage had gone on for several weeks, one of the crewmen warned the king on an approaching storm. Hálfdan was unconcerned and gave the man no new orders. When the rains began to pour on the deck, the king opened the container and grabbed his horn. Lightning strikes illuminated the darkened skies around him, and the crew worked hard to keep the ship afloat. Before the storm could threaten the voyage, King Hálfdan Ubbasen grabbed the horn and blew it, hoping to push away the clouds and clear a safe path. The plan backfired, and a great crack could be heard forming within the hull. Within a second, the ship tore itself apart. As the loud blast of the horn reached the shores of Henvikendal, their king and his horn had reached the bottom of the ocean. With his demise, the Kingdom of the Henvikish was once more divided between dozens of petty kings.
The Vakner are a sturdy people who have mastered shipbuilding and seafaring. They live in the cold heights of Henvikendal and Rothnia
The Vákniþir is a large horn that possesses great destructive powers and contains clues to a mysterious prophecy