Gundhar the Fearless Myth in Terrarum | World Anvil

Gundhar the Fearless

The legendary dragon slayer of Herodi mythology and ancestral founder of the Hasdinians, the tribe of Radimane who would go on to conquer the entirety of the Rasennan west.


Born on the summer solstice to Reik Arnoulf and his consort Bernhlis who is said to have made an announcement after birthing him that her son would embody the bravado and strength afforded ten times that of his cowardly father who was too squeamish to witness the birth of his son. Bernhlis' prediction would be exactly the truth as Gundhar would grow into the pinnacle of youthful strength, bravery, and skill in his childhood, slowly eclipsing his weak father and becoming the de facto leader of his small tribe.

it is said that when the boy reached 16 he was sent out to the town of Mourm, the seat of Stanislas a powerful Reik who Arnoulf desperately wanted to forge ties. As soon as he reached the court of Stanislas, two figures would emerge in Gundhar's life that would change it forever as first, he would meet his best friend Fastrad, Stanislas' nephew, and his inroad to meeting the love of his life, Hailuna a fiery maiden and daughter of Stanislas. Gundhar was Stanislas' ward now and engaged in near-constant revelry in the good Reik's court attempting to woo the oblivious Hailuna. One night, the party was interrupted by a hard knock on the great doors, a messenger spattered in blood came to inform the group of a terror on the way, a ferocious giant with bright red eyes shooting fire and spitting ash and who had killed every man attempting to apprehend them. The party was cast into madness and terrified they began to try to flee the hall before Stanislas rose from his throne and commanded them to stop and listen. Stanislas volunteered, as their Reik, to go out and slay the beast and bring its head back to calm their anxieties. However, when word of Stanislas' would be pledge came to the ears of Gundhar he dropped his drinking horn and protested. Gundhar shouted at the Reik to reconsider and that he proved to valuable to go on such a dangerous mission as he had no sons to carry on his name or take his throne if he were to fall. Gundhar volunteered himself and Fastrad, who reluctantly agreed, to go out and put a stop to the beast's rampages. Stanislas agreed but asked what he would want in return to which Gundhar said he only wished to marry his daughter, Hailuna objected and stated that now she wished to help hunt the beast alongside Gundhar and Fastrad to which her father accepted. With the inclusion of a woman, even a woman as high in standing as Hailuna, the trio were sarcastically called the Dreirkompane or "Threes Company" on their way from Reik Stanislas' hall.

The quest to the beasts' supposed hiding place was a long trek and on the way, Gundhar and Hailuna would prove to be a formidable duo while Fastrad is said to have wheeled off, been kidnapped by witches and fae, and then taught their various melodies and lyrics before coming back with a new form of both, what would be called Skaldic verse. Coming upon the location of the giant's resting area, the Dreirkompane found not a gigantic monster with terror in its eyes, spitting fire and ash but a huddle of giants sleeping on the floor by a lit campfire with a gigantic she-giant watching guard. It was from this she-giant that the group learned the giants were not to blame for the bloodshed and instead a much more dangerous land serpent had been doing the attacking and the giants had been framed. Taking the she-giant on her word, the Dreirkompane rode out on fresh horses towards a place said to be the serpent's mound a place called the Bergtrebrodr or "Mount of the Three Brothers" named for its triple peaks which reached into the clouds like grasping fingers.

There the trio found the serpent, a vile and fearsome foe much closer to a dragon than a serpent and hoarding gold in a very traditionally dragon-like manner. Fearing the dragon, both Fastrad and Hailuna got cold feet and did not wish to go any further than the base of the mountain, to his own reluctance, Gundhar rose to the challenge and veered up the mountain alone, with only his sword to fight this dragon who he now understood was Feurig, a dragon known to be a killer of adventurers and warriors like himself. Little is directly told of the violent clash on Bergtrebrodr but it is said from Gundhar's own mouth that first, he saluted the dragon with a drinking horn he brought and declared, " it is a noble thing to breathe fire but my fire is not of breath but of the soul." The battle between the two is said to have sounded like the greatest of thunder and looked as if the mountain had become a volcano and was in the midst of an eruption. The noise was deafening as it sounded as if the sky had cracked and was being hammered together again by all the gods, all in unison. All around Herodia and Great Salia a violent clashing was heard and many must have wondered if they would be witnesses to the end of the world. When the hammering ended and ceased what was replaced was one more burst of roaring flame followed by silence as Gundhar slowly made his way back down the mountain to the base where Fastrad and Hailuna sat bewildered and in amazement when he came in eyesight lugging the head of the giant dragon.

Returning to Mourm in tow with both the head of the dragon and his riches, Gundhar was kissed with glee by Stanislas upon arrival and declared that Gundhar had won himself both a bride and his own kingdom to which Gundhar refused the kingdom but accepted his beloved Hailuna. The two were married the next day to the poetry of Fastrad and the reception was unlike any festivity ever thrown by any Herodi before it with people from all across the land coming to pay respects to the bride and groom who were now being known as Hailuna the Dragon Clad for her wedding dress made of the fine dragon skin and her husband who had adopted far more epithets, Gundhar the Dragon Slayer, Gundhar Steinsheirt or "Stone Sword" and finally a name he would come to forever be known as, Gundhar the Fearless.


First spread around the area of modern upper Sturmaria, called Talvagunhar named after the hero and where a single figure of Gundhar if he truly lived most likely dwelled. The story of Gundhar spread rapidly in the ages before contact with the Rasenna and he is even mentioned by a variation of his name in Lakic called Gunmarius and called "a King of the Hasdii" a connection to the Hasdinians who would claim to be of the tribe of Gundhar.

After the conquests of Radimane, Gundhar was skyrocketed to the top of heroes and claimed as an ancestor of Radimane and all his subsequent successors who advanced his name and deeds, sponsored stories, busts, and drawings made of the hero all-around their kingdoms.

Variations & Mutation

According to multiple variations of the tale, upon his wedding to Hailuna, either Gundhar assumed the title of Reik upon his father-in-law's death and ruled wisely and justly for some 50 years alongside his wife before dying with nearly 20 sons and daughters of their own.

Another variation states that Gundhar refused the position of Reik, instead nominating Fastrad who would rule and instead began a career as a famous monster hunter along with his wife and would continue as a legendary figure even in his own time as he would slay dozens of other beasts terrorizing towns and villages. This latter variation is the more popular version of the story as dozens of other stories have Gundhar as a central or aiding character thus explaining his refusal of leadership and continuing the lifestyle that made him famous.

Cultural Reception

Gundhar is a beloved figure in Herodi legend, he and his wife have long been considered the father and mother of the Herodi people and by extension their many cadet branches like the Hasdinians, Salians, Sturmares, Marvingians, Hedbards, and the Leutrburgs.

In Literature

Gundhar is first spoken of in the saga "Gundhar Der Furchtlose und Drachentöter" or Gundhar the Fearless and the Dragon Slayer by a mysterious poet named Wildunkin who compiled the stories in the late 140s B.E, after the vast conquests of Radimane and the cementation of the Herodi and their dissection into the various differing kingdoms afterward.

In this telling, the conception of "The King in the Mountain" is spoken of after Gundhar falls in battle and is buried at Hautkrig. According to Wildunkin, Gundhar is not dead but in fact sleeping, holding his sword tight awaiting the final days of the world where he will rise along with those who fell with him to fight during Dresirea.
(Gundhar and his would be betrothed Hailuna in the court of Stanislas)
Date of First Recording
~10-140 A.E
Date of Setting
Archaic Age


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