Lord Thræsh Character in Thræsh's Hold | World Anvil

Lord Thræsh

Alright then. Let us see how deep this rabbit hole goes
 

Letter I - Who was Lord Thræsh?

  Greetings my dear Rupens Bereg,   I humbly beg your pardon for not writing again sooner and in the hopes of returning to your good graces would like to rekindle our earlier tradition of lore-digging as we called it during our formative years. Due to our now considerable physical distance, I have devised a method of achieving a similar experience through the medium of text. In short, we shall take turns explaining a fascinating morsel of lore or mythos from our new (though let us be honest, old friend, no longer truly new) home environments. The recipient of this explanation, in good lore-digging tradition, is free to ask any question, be it out of critical or even accusatory nature or genuine interest. Doing so we may once more investigate our commonly held beliefs and knowledges. Before I begin, dear Rupens, I have to confess that I missed this type of engaging conversation. My company in Moondoor is often quite a bore. The provinciality of it all compared to the grandeur of the capital!
  But I am straying too far already and the amount of paper I have is only so long. What I would like to present to you is a fascinating piece of local folklore, which has been kept by tradition of Moondoor citizens and the nearby villages and homesteads alike. I am talking of course, of Lord Thræsh. While I do recall you sleeping through most of what lectures you attended of my favourite topic, I would have to start assuming you know nothing anyways, because we did not hear about this tradition back in the days during our studies. Lord Thræsh as is only really known around here is the mythical lord who once ruled the lands surrounding Moondoor from the eponymous fortress towering over the landscape in the mountainside, fittingly called Thræsh's Hold. To put this into perspective, reliable sources date this mysterious figure back before even the ascendancy of the Houvedan dynasty and before the faith of the Gods had really spread to places as far as Moondoor.   It is in fact such an old tale that there are multiple competing first names attributed to Lord Thræsh, with some calling him Archfield, while others use the more local name Eorning and some rare sources call him Fredheval, also claiming that Eorning or Archfield were the Lords father instead. No matter the true given name of this figure, he is far more commonly known of course for the history of his death. As is known by common knowledge, Lord Thræsh is the last of his name, which is perhaps why his given name is so disputed. His line and control over the region famously died with him. Curiously, despite this ancient line long snuffed out, his castle, the Hold, still stands today, rivaling even the oldest buildings in the capital.   For my final part of this piece, part treatise part letter at this point I think, I shall discuss this now infamous demise. The story, as best as I can piece it together from the various versions I have trudged up so far, is that Lord Thræsh, a man of great knowledge learnt from his forebears before him led the area and his serfs in a strict, but ultimately competent fashion. In his early days after following his father before him, Thræsh ruled fairly and while his guard was harsh at times the times were peaceful and the harvests good (You can tell how old this myth really is by the fact that even some things out of Thræshs control, like the harvest, are credited to him in a deifying way). However, over time, things took a turn for the worse. Lord Thræsh began dabbling in things and courting beings beyond comprehension. Reasons for this differ from version to version of the story: In one he succumbed to the pressure of being Lord and sought new avenues to procure wisdom, leadership or power. In another he was seduced by false courtiers or even his trusted guardsmen. Yet another suggests that his mind had been under stress from all the occult lore he had been hoarding and finally fractured into insanity.   No matter the reason, as the situation throughout Thræsh's territory deteriorated, tensions rose and eventually more and more ordinary people believed that something needed to be done. At last, something broke the dam that had been holding back the flood: People began dreaming of their Lord, calling for their help, sometimes even begging for it in clear pain. With this new knowledge, the people rose up and stormed Thræsh's Hold. His guard was overrun and the Lord was torn from his chambers. Some accounts claim that Lord Thræsh was seen covered in bloody seals and with bruises. In a grim procession, Lord Thræsh, last of his house was carried out into the courtyard of his once great castle and placed upon a pyre. They set him ablaze and when he died upon the fire, the people claimed to have seen his spirit ascend to the stars with a relieved smile upon his face.   And with this I shall end this report. I hope that I could capture your attention throughout the text dear Rupens and that I did not drag on too long as I laid out the mythos.   Expecting your reply with eager anticipation,   Signed Cordially,   Marovia de Suin  

Letter II - The religious implications

  Dear Rupens,   I was overjoyed by your quick response and your eagerness to revive our old tradition. To start us off, allow me to adress the questions I can answer quickly first. Yes, you are correct that this myth would place lord Thræshs existence about seven centuries before our time at least, depending on how much older he is than the the rise of house Houvedan. And indeed there are references to Lord Thræsh since the oldest texts in this area I have studied thus far. He appears in many stories from various periods like a specter, still haunting this area. Meanwhile I have to admit that for your other question regarding Lord Thræshs general vita, the answers will be much more disappointing. I can give you no exact year or even decade for any important date, only relative answers at best. Thræsh was born into his house and took the throne from his father when he was only in his twenties. His mother had died in childbirth and the father had not remarried, which is why Thræsh remained the sole heir. The incident revolving his death happened about another ten years after the ascension, though I am unable to find any reliable sources on why Thræsh never married or had children.   I am however very proud that your final question could have been taken directly out of the books we studied from all those years back. If this myth is so old and talks of such a grim story, why is it remembered at all and by so many sources throughout the years. It is precisely what also drew me to this morsel a few months ago, during the early harvest months. You see, Lord Thræsh is openly worshipped in Moondoor, and is the primary focus of an upcoming yearly event, the ritual burning of a large effigy made to resemble him. Indeed despite his gruesome death and the ugliness surrounding it, commonly held opinion in the city, and in fact the surrounding villages, depicts Thræsh as a man of wisdom and knowledge, who may have strayed from his path for a short while (though often as you may recall this is depicted as not his direct fault) and most importantly in the end returned to see the light giving his life to break the evil that had befallen his lands. Because of this sacrifice, the commonly known adage around Moondoor declares: Here lies Thræsh, Lord of the Mountain. Resting in Ashes, burned by the righteous.   Some natives of Moondoor extend this reverence of the Lord of the Mountain into candid worship, which brings me as you will no doubt immediately see, to my main addition to the last letter. We both profited heavily from the grace and generosity of the excellence of the church, both financially in our positions as grand sages of the realm, but also in housing on my part here in moondoor (the cathedral is looming over me from the window of my room as I am writing this!) and our education to boot. Since we both of course would never dream of spitting in the face of this generosity, I need to ask you to keep this letter particularily hidden from prying eyes. We both never tried to hide our disdain for some of the churchs practices and these days I tire of the atmosphere Archbishop Ignatius of Moondoor cultivates in the scholarly spheres of this city.   With that in mind, let me get back to our topic at hand. How do the gods of order feel about this pagan ritual and the open worship? I of course do not know, divine classes were never my strength, but I can tell you how their disciples, including the first of the city feel about it. If they could, the clergy would outlaw worship of Lord Thræsh tomorrow. However, this tradition along with the worship of a figure of wisdom and forbidden knowledge is so deeply rooted within Moondoor citizens, that the church can't do so, without risking strong pushback or even revolts. I have to say that on dull days, it is a great source of gratification to see these indignant, tiny men of faith cluck and crow about pagan this, pagan that, almost gnashing their teeth at the injustice. Worship of Lord Thræsh is not going anywhere for the foreseeable future.   Well, this page is close to filled, so I will stop here and await your next questions about the matter soon. Until then, dearest Rupens, I bid you a safe winter and many tough arithmatic problems to dig into.   Signed Cordially, Mary de Suin  

Letter III - Where does it end?

  Dear Rupens,   I fear I am losing my mind. I thank you for your letter, though it is barely comforting for reasons I shall explain in a bit. Allow me to start with the most important aspect: I am no longer convinced Lord Thræsh ever existed. There. Writing it down does not ease my mind, but at least I can start making sense of it all. I must apologise in advance about the lack of structure to this letter, for I cannot conceive how to properly put my thoughts on the page.   It started with what should have been a simple search through ancient tomes. Inspired by your questions I tried to pin down the century Lord Thræsh lived in. For all its faults, Moondoors archives reach back far even to pre-Order times, and I had the idea to approximate the age of Thræshs mythos by seeing how the description of his story changes throughout the years. You see, there is this trend for normal local tales: If an event happened far enough in the past, references to its existence follow a pattern even if the exact age is lost. As you move back through time, the stories shift from talking of the event as something in the distant past, to talking about it as something that occured in the past, but more recently. All of this rambling is to say, with enough effort, you can trace a curve through time with it, and while its by no means accurate, you at least get a rough idea when something must have happened.   So. With this in mind, I turned to Thræsh. It should not have been a problem. It should not have. As I said, the archives reach so far back here and Thræsh is such a presence in local folklore, I have plenty of sources to use in my investigation. Rupens, I cannot find the pattern. Its not there. At first I assumed that, as I had started in recent years, the myth is just so old, that it would take a while for any trend to manifest. But it simply does not. Let me be clear. It does not. By now I have delved so deep into the archives, that I am certain it will not change. Thræsh would have to be older than the written word by now. Which leads me to the statement with which I began. I am no longer sure Thræsh existed at all.   I sat with this idea for a while and simply could not fathom it. Fake myths exist of course, but usually you can find the origin once you start digging deeper. Thræsh on the other hand appears like he is real, but cannot be at the same time. After I thought I had come to terms with this inconsistency for now, I followed your other advice. Visit Thræshs Hold. However, I quickly found this to be more difficult than anticipated as well. The Hold lies far above the city, nestled into the mountainside. At its height it is surrounded by snow almost throughout the entire year, but this late into autumn, mere days before the new year begins, even lower paths to the Hold are snowed in. I simply did not find anyone willing to guide me and the church discouraged my motion for even a day-long expedition.   After sitting around for a week, my mind turning around this impossible idea, I felt as if I was Thræsh himself, overcome with a cursed knowledge, doomed to insanity. At last I set out for the Hold myself. The beginning was easy, as I was driven by enthusiasm and needy curiosity. But with every step towards the castle, uncertainty seeped into my veins. I began doubting myself, and there was this unnatural, almost vibrating feeling in the air as I ascended. To my shame I turned around and abandoned the idea. However dangerous or lethal it may have been, at least I would have had the feeling of getting closer to the truth.   After my attempt to reach the Hold, things deteriorated further. I found (and still find) myself hounded by strange dreams, slowly becoming nightmarish in nature. I am dreaming of mists, Rupens, and of strange shadows lurking in them. I once saw the river at night carry such a mist and since then I dare not even cross it during the day, forced to stay on the eastern side of the city, forever barred from the Hold to the far west. Additionally, I begin seeing things that are not real. People without faces, small gnomes scurrying through an alleyway. I only ever spot them from the corner of my eye and when I turn to see them properly, they no longer are there, instead, I only see normal things. I am scared, Rupens. I fear I am losing my very mind.   Three days ago it was the last day of the year, and on this day the locals burn Lord Thræsh's effigy, like I described previously. I of course went there in the evening. I should not have. They sang and burnt the statue and I could only see myself on the pyre, I felt as if I was burning myself. And I saw things again. The faceless beings were walking among the crowd, even though I know they're not real. I saw strange hunchbacked humans with arms too long for their bodies, warty faces with teeth that did not look right for a human. I couldnt stand to stay until the end. I fear I also frightened or confused some poor locals in the process.   Since that day, I did not dare leave the house. Glancing through the shutters of my windows, I spy beings watching me. They're not real, they are not real, they can not be real.
They can not, they can not
Can not.
Today I mustered the strength to write this down.   I am sorry if this is scaring you, Rupens, but I no longer know any other way of staving off the inevitable crashing down into the darkness that awaits me. I will try to have this sent to you, though I do not know if I shall succeed. I do not know if I ever will write you another letter, Rupens. I'm sorry. I'm sorry for doing this to you. I am also sorry for never telling you how I felt about you leaving. I should have and perhaps you would have stayed.   Goodbye, Rupens.   Signed Cordially, and forever yours,   Mary
Want to learn more about the tradition of "burning Lord Thræsh"? You can do so here:
Burning Lord Thræsh
Tradition / Ritual | Oct 25, 2023

Learn what Life in City Moondoor is like in different seasons. This time, it is time to burn a Lord and begin a new year.

Want to learn more on the position of the faith? There is another letter on this topic:
Children


Cover image: by Ninodonlord (via Midjourney)

Comments

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Jan 8, 2024 15:33 by Jada T

The way I was working my way through and my jaw DROPPED at the ending!!   Nino this is such a fascinating way to discuss a topic and beyond a mere topic, a person!   The clear perspectives and relationships and excitement that is found between two scholars was captured beautifully, and made all the more tragic in the last letter as it is clear they forgo all decorum and banter in a flurry of fear and urgency. It made me terrified for poor Marovia, and all the more curious at their signing of the last letter and what that meant about their relationship. I hope I will learn more about them both!!   For feedback, I spotted a few typos here and there, but nothing crazy on that front. I adored this format and experiment in exploring a subject matter and hope to attempt to emulate it soon myself, if that's alright. I'd love to learn more about these researchers and what they are to each other, because it seem far more complex than it appears and I ADORE some good characters.   Keep creating and experimenting, because this turned out phenomenally!!

There's so much worth loving in this world. You are one of those things.
Jan 27, 2024 15:01 by Amélie I. S. Debruyne

I love how you've presented this through letters and how this becomes quite creepy at the end XD

To see what I am up to: World Ember 2023 list of articles.