Freya

freya.jpgFreya the Celestial (c. Y469 – Y542), was a human woman, the first Queen of Grandévere and the leader of the Nine Crusaders who destroyed the oppressive Du’un Empire. Later in her life, she was known as the most powerful sorceress on Norn, for she possessed not only unmatched arcane skill, but also the legendary Robes of the Archmagi. Her companions agreed that lasting peace in Norn could not have been achieved without her wisdom and steady leadership, both as general of the Liberation Army and Queen of Grandévere. Those who believe in the crusaders’ apotheosis worship Freya as a goddess of magic, order, the stars, and cats. She is frequently worshiped by mages in times of struggle and sailors and navigators pray to her so that the stars will not lead them astray on the high seas.

Freya was born into a convent of holy sisters in the Scythian mountains during the reign of Sheol XIV. There they worshiped the Divine Dragon Io in secret, for even though Du’un presence was limited in Scythia, their punishment for worshiping the Life-Giver was brutal and torturous. Freya’s convent, though small, was able to help many Du’un refugees and help them recover from their long exodus. Once they were recovered, the sisters helped smuggle them past Du’un patrols and into remote mountain villages, far beyond the Empire’s reach.

Freya’s life changed forever in Y490 when she received a group of refugees from the Empire’s capital, the unholy city of Thariz—as far as she knew, the only group of refugees to ever escape the capital. At twenty-one years old, she had been leading the journey across the mountains for six years, but the group from Thariz was unlike any she had traveled with before. The refugees were led by Myrrh, the imperial princess, and Woten, her dutiful retainer and bodyguard. Freya learned that Myrrh and Woten had attempted a coup, but the Du’un emperor, empowered by the Black Book, was too mighty for mere mortals to kill. Myrrh and Woten gathered what few rebels survived the initial attack and fled with all haste to the Scythian mountains. Their chance meeting catalyzed the formation of the Liberation Army in central Scythia.

After the war, Freya remained the cheerful, if weary, face of her kingdom. She was an extroverted and involved monarch, doing everything she could to ensure Grandévere flourished and tyranny withered. She was never without her feline familiar, Stella. Because of her role in Grandévere’s creation and her skill as a negotiator and diplomat, Freya is widely regarded as one of the best Grandéveran monarchs. Freya’s great-granddaughter, Gersemi, founded the Disciples of the Arcane, an order of wizards who continued Freya’s magical studies, often crafting spells based on her unfinished research. The Disciples went on to form the Lycée d’Arcana, a college of magic in Hildsvine. The Robes of the Archmagi were given this name because Gersemi gave them as a gift to the Lycée’s first Archmage.

In Y503, Freya temporarily appointed her chief minister Vainad the Just to govern Grandévere (before the Central Kingdoms were united) in her stead. She disappeared for twelve months, during which time it is said that Vainad led the country with remarkable skill, for he was a shrewd diplomat and much respected by the common people. The populace’s joy at Queen Freya’s return, nearly a year later, was tempered only by their surprise when she returned carrying in her arms her infant son, the fatherless prince of Hildsvine.

Freya

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