Giant's Rest Geographic Location in The Dark Myths of Ürda | World Anvil

Giant's Rest

"It is here he shall rest, never stirring nor sounding. His crown lay bare on cold, blood-lettened stone. Helig, Last of the Giant Kings, Eye of the Watcher, Madman."
— Carvings on the Entrance
  Giant's Rest is a funerary barrow and cave located in the Kingdom of Morcaenan. It is located in the mountains of the Great Spine and can be only be reached safely by a forested trail that leads to St. Westal's Monestary and the village of Redkirk to the south.   Historians and scholars alike agree that it was here that Morcar declared himself the new king of the realm following his slaying of Helig the Vast, and thus ending the age of Giants forever. While a lonely place, it is considered one of the great historical locations in Morcaenan and is protected by the Monestary of St. Westal.

Geography

While the Great Spine is renowned for its craggy and uneven landscape, the entrance of Giant's Rest is located in a strangely flat valley and surrounded by trees which climb up the sheer grey and black cliffs of stony mountains.   Originally, it was described as a large crack in the earth where one would climb down into. However, after St. Westal transformed the cave into a funerary barrow, the entrance became a circular stairway of black stone that wraps around a raised dias of earth. On this dias, an unusually large tree with black bark and red leaves stands with a face of Helig carved into the trunk.   A series of standing stones circle the stairway which form a henge, each depicting one part of the "Story of Morcar Giantslayer and Helig the Mad". The stones, once painted, are now bare carvings depicting the feats and tale of "Morcar Giantslayer and Helig the Mad."

History

Myth of Bàs Helig

"Death. It was all that ran through Helig's mind. His vision, dreams, and thoughts all showed death. His death. The death of his people. The death of everything. He had become a husk of the Giant who was once called king. When Morcar stood before his mighty form, there was no hatred. There was only sorrow, and a want for mercy."
— Riada Bruis - Bas Helig
    Following the burning of Dolorous and Helig's crushing defeat, the Giant Army divided and scattered. With no real holds in the land, many sought to escape the continent by sea. Though scholars still question why, Helig headed for the Great Spine with seven of his Torvalken.   During, two fell, one starved, and one abandoned the group entirely. By the time they reached the mountain cave, Helig only possessed three Torvalken and was on the verge of starvation himself.   In some tellings, the cave was chosen as a hideaway from a winter storm while others claim the Torvalken lured Helig into the cave. In all stories though, Helig along his surviving followers entered the cave where they ate the last of their rations and rested. In the middle of the night, the Torvalken betrayed Helig. They bound his hands and feet, beating his legs and knees useless with their clubs. They then took their obsidian knives and cut through soft flesh, feasting on his legs. They left him for dead deeper in the cave.   When Morcar arrived at the cave, he possessed a force of thousands of warriors and tribals. However, despite this advantage, he chose to enter the cave alone. Morcar crossed the deep crags and canyons of the cave and found the waiting form of the trapped Helig sitting in a thick pool of his own blood. Driven mad by his own divine visions and starvation, he used his final breaths to plead for death.  
Morcar, who had wanted nothing but vengence against Helig, looked upon him with mercy and saw the faults of the Giant King and his madness. Seeing no honor in a vengeful killing, Morcar accepted his plea and recorded Helig's final words then granted a quick death.
"Though I shall rest, I shall not pass. I shall remain until my time at last."
— Helig's Final Words, as translated from Giant.
  When Morcar returned from the cave to his men, he spoke calmly of the death of Helig, before raising his right hand in the air and declaring himself the new king of the land. The tribes, with no exceptions, bowed to Morcar and swore fealty to him.  

Modern Day

In the years following, Westal the Knowing, one of Morcar's follower, settled a small sanctuary near the cave. He spent much of his life recording Morcar's life, achievements and disappearance. In his final years, he lead to the creation of a funerary barrow honoring both Helig and Morcar.   Much of the standing stones that form the henge were raised by St. Westal himself in his elder years and carved by skilled stonemasons from the nearby monestary he headed. However, as scholars grew more knowledgable on giantkind and more ruins were discovered, the once common pilgrimages to this site became more of an annual tradition followed only by the elder members of the monestary as well as the Monestaral Guard.
Alternative Name(s)
Heligsrest
The Giant's Grave
Type
Cave

Comments

Please Login in order to comment!
Jul 2, 2021 04:24 by Janelle

This was a nice read! It tells the story of the location and I didn't feel lost without knowing the full context of the conflict.


Seek out Fate in the world of Auriga!
Jul 2, 2021 13:48 by Barbarossa Sparklebeard

Thank you so much for the comment!

Please check out my article for the Tavern Challenge! The Black Haired Dog!
Jul 2, 2021 15:23 by Janelle

Whoa... just read your edit and I'm loving the additions!


Seek out Fate in the world of Auriga!
Jul 2, 2021 05:16 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

Great article! I really like how you've structure that around the history :D

To see what I am up to: World Ember 2023 list of articles.
Jul 2, 2021 13:48 by Barbarossa Sparklebeard

Thank you so much for the comment!

Please check out my article for the Tavern Challenge! The Black Haired Dog!
Jul 2, 2021 13:38 by Annie Stein

This is an excellent article! I love how indepth you get, and the way you tell the story of Helig's end, brutal as it is. I wonder why his Torvalken turned on him. I also very much appreciate how you give enough context that I know what's going on, but not so much that it's overwhelming. Very good work!

Creator of Solaris -— Come Explore!
Jul 2, 2021 13:48 by Barbarossa Sparklebeard

Thanks! As for his Torvalken, that will appear in the Myth prompt but, in short, Helig the Vast is more popularly known as Helig the Mad and drove his troops to their demise against the human armies and was a poor military planner, despite his divine visions. He would often do the opposite of what his visions told him, ultimately ignoring them and making huge mistakes.

Please check out my article for the Tavern Challenge! The Black Haired Dog!
Jul 2, 2021 15:25 by Cryssalia Noire

Love the article! I feel bad for Helig, with the madness and betrayal he suffered from. Glad that Morcar gave him a quick death and let him rest in peace.