Hit befel in the dayes of Uther Pendragon …*
A long time ago in a place so far away as to be unreachable in this universe, there lived a king, and the king had a realm. The king’s name was Arthur Pendragon, and his realm was Albion.
Arthur and his realm bore perhaps
a chance resemblance to a certain cycle of stories told often in a land called England. This Arthur, like the one of England, had a circle of close knights whose names included some like Lancelot (though this Lancelot had a wife, named Guinevere), Bors and Pellinore. He had two sisters, named Morgause and Morgan — and, much like in England’s Arthur, his sister Morgause’s husband Lot and son Mordred seemed destined to cause Arthur nothing but trouble. He also had a beautiful queen (or so he thought, and woe to the man who disagreed with him), though unlike the English Arthur’s queen, this queen was named Alison and she was fertile, having delivered him three children: the twins Thomas and Jessica, and younger son Kay.
This Arthur also had a very different history from the Arthur of England. While the Arthur of England was (eventually) the acknowledged heir to the throne and rightful king, the Arthur of Albion was illegitimate, only the slantwise heir to the kingdom of Glasonland. Glasonland moreover had a true heir; the cruel and selfish Vortigern. Old King Uther, knowing both his sons and knowing that civil war was sure to break out when he died, bethought himself of a plan to save both his kingdom
and his sons. His answer? Give Arthur a new land, an uninhabited land, a dangerous land, seeing as it formed a buffer zone between Glasonland and the rapacious and grasping Empire of Reme.
Arthur knew his brother as well as his father did, so when the twins were just beginning to toddle and young Kay was not even a twinkle in his father’s eye (you try getting your eyes to twinkle when forever chasing two rambunctious toddlers), Arthur took his father up on his offer, left his homeland of Glasonland founded the realm of Albion. It was to be a realm different from Glasonland, a land of staid tradition, where the strong did what they pleased and the weak put up with it as well as they might. Albion was to be a land founded on the virtues of truth, justice and equality (or at least as much equality as Arthur could get the nobles to stomach). It was to be a land where good would be rewarded and evil punished, where children could grow in love and happiness, where platinum plumbobs would dot the landscape, and where, if he worked hard enough, if he dreamed big enough, any man (or woman) could change his stars.
It was to be Albion. And hopefully it would prosper.
Credit for both maps goes to the wonderful Andavri, because she has TALENT!
*Starting line of Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte d’Arthur.