Baldur the Radiant (c. Y480 – Y522) was the first Duke of Brei, one of the crusaders who rose up against the Du’un Empire and wielder of the sacred blade Tyrfing. Those who believe in the crusaders’ apotheosis revere him as a deity of light, courage, and benevolence. His friendship with Andvari the Cunning and Sigurd the Dragonslayer was legendary, and the ties of brotherhood and commerce they built between their duchies remain fast to this day. In life, he was a male human being.
In the beginning, Baldur’s idealism may have flowed from his youth and naivete, but he never lost his dauntless courage, even when he possessed the wisdom of age. A kind heart, a swift steed, and a steady sword arm allowed him to be both master of cavalry and public face of the fledgling liberation army. The wise crusader Woten knew him to be prone to sudden fits of passion and fiery energy, and took it upon himself to restrain the headstrong Baldur from acting rashly. He was named by Freya, “the first in war and the first in peace” both for his love of peace and his hatred of injustice. Later in his life, the people of Brei began to refer to him as the “Golden Lion” for his regal stature and calculated ferocity.
The friendship Baldur shared with Andvari and Sigurd was known across the land, but the Crusader of Light and his brother, Hod, were nigh inseparable. Skadi the Giantess often wondered what terrors they had suffered as children under imperial rule to unite them so permanently. Wherever Baldur rode, so rode Hod. After the fall of the empire, during the Remnant War, they once again rode across the continent, with their blades Tyrfing and Mystletainn in hand, destroying the Chained God‘s remaining tyrannous agents and mad followers in hope of creating a lasting peace for the land. Years after the war’s conclusion, however, Baldur’s death at his brother’s hand nearly tore Grandévere asunder. The tormented Hod fled Grandévere forever, never again to ride across its sun-streaked fields.
His warrior’s spirit is said to have flowed within his very blood, for his son and only heir, Forseti, took immediately to the defense of the realm. Following his father’s death, Forseti raised the holy blade Tyrfing and vowed to create an order of knights that would forever safeguard his beloved motherland. These holy knights, or paladins, became known throughout Grandévere as Baldur’s legacy and the greatest knights in the land. Brei’s Knights of the Golden Lion are a particularly exclusive order of paladins, the term paladin has since become used to describe any knight who wields both sacred spell and sword in the name of righteousness.