The origin story of the Kingdom of Suirid is, unlike most kingdoms, not a story of war but a story of love. Yet that makes the tragedy of it even more poignant. Bards will sing the story to entertain, theaters will host dramatic reproductions, and at The Academy
royalty of Suirid are greeted with quotes from the tale, much to their chagrin.
Starting with their first meeting in 3657 WE, and ending with Mauld's tragic death in 3668 WE, the legend talks about how famous Knight Mauld the Swift met Prince Orson Suirid, third prince of the Kingdom of Creonem. She fell in love with him on first sight, and vice-versa. Yet their class differences kept them apart, until tragedy struck, united them, only to later tear them apart.
United in War
By the time the two met for the first time, both age 21, Mauld had already received knighthood for her bravery in war. For her ability to quickly cut through enemy ranks and take out enemy leaders, she had received the moniker of 'Mauld the Swift'. When her division was assigned to serve the prince, as he was to make a name for himself in war as well, they fell in love at first sight, or so the story goes.
It wasn't long before the two secretly confessed their love to each other, yet both knew their positions would keep them apart. Being third in line meant Orson would eventually marry strategically, not low enough in the line of succession to be granted freedom. As such, there was no way his parents would allow the two to marry. As a sidenote, in Creonem this part of the story tends to be told as a tragic misunderstanding instead.
For two years the two were united at the front, though it broke prince Orson's heart every time that Mauld threw herself into the fray, while every time she left his side, Mauld feared an enemy assassin might take him before she could return. When peace returned, Mauld's accomplishments did get her higher ranked, but still not even close to what would be needed for the two to unite.
Torn apart by Peace
The next few years the two only met during official events, where their eyes would always linger yet be forced to move on. Two years after the war, Mauld was promoted to leader of a defensive fort, a backup location capable of quickly reaching the borders near her, and her duties prevented the two from meeting again. The distance between them tore their hearts into a thousand pieces, but their duty kept them going.
Over a year later, prince Orson's duties brought them together again for a short time. Tasked with surveilling the lands, he travelled through the fort Mauld led, on his way to a nearby Duke. Some storytellers claim they spent that night together, though the official story says they stayed in separate towers, longingly standing at their windows looking at each other.
The next day, prince Orson and his escorts moved on. On his way to the Duke, their journey led them past a forest, when suddenly beasts came out and attacked them. From her watchtower with her spyglass, Mauld saw what happened and immediately rallied her troops. Rushing ahead of them, she was first to the scene, where by then only a few soldiers still stood.
United by Tragedy
The resulting fight was dramatic, as strange beasts lashed out and Mauld only barely managed to block an attack at prince Orson's throat. She fought desperately, the first time she wielded her sword to protect her beloved directly, trying to buy time for her reinforcements to arrive. Yet tragedy struck just as the first arrows arrived to aid her, as finally a beast broke through her defenses and cut her side.
Yet Mauld persisted, and together with her troops she defeated the beasts at last. Only when everyone had safely retreated to the fort, did she finally allow herself to collapse. For ten days and ten nights, she ailed, despite the best care, and prince Orson never left her side. Only on the eleventh day did her eyes open again, looking into the eyes of her beloved prince, who vowed never to leave her side again.
At first the King and Queen resisted, but their son's love eventually melted their hearts and they allowed the two to marry. Soon after Mauld became with child, giving birth to a daughter eleven months after she had come to the prince's aid. For weeks the two lived in happiness, until the anniversary of the tragedy, when her wound reopened and again she fell ill.
This time, it took her three weeks to recover. Seemingly recovered, Mauld again became pregnant, and this time a son was born. But on the second anniversary, again Mauld's wounds reopened, and again she took more time to recover. The couple finally realised that she would not recover from her wounds. And indeed, falling ill again on each anniversary of the event, on the fifth anniversary Mauld recovered no more.
Her Beloved's Legacy
His heart broken, never to recover, prince Orson came to an eerie calm. At day he took care of his duties and his children, at night he argued with advisors and prepared a plan. Three months later, he revealed his plans to his parents and begged for their aid. He wished for troops, so he could take the forest and hunt down every beast therein, so none would suffer as he did.
While at first his parents denied him, yet day after day he returned to court to beg for their aid once more. As more and more joined him in his pleas, at last they gave in. They ordered him to denounce their rule over him and go forth, to carve out a place for his own and honour the name of his beloved. And as he went and conquered the treacherous forests, so did he become King Orson, first ruler of the Kingdom of Suirid. Yet despite his success, his heart loved nevermore.