|“||Waidwen's head was a beam of light.||”|
|~ Watcher to Eder.
|Biography and appearance|
|Game||Beast of Winter|
|Location||The Sunken Crown|
|Quests||The Bridge Ablaze (quest)|
Background[edit | edit source]
During the economic downturn, a local farmer named Waidwen started to deliver speeches in the town square. Such activity would normally have been overlooked by the local government, but people listened to his ravings. No one could decide if he was brilliant or mad, but his words struck a chord in the hearts of the devout and those affected by the failure of the vorlas crop. The farmer himself took no credit for the content of his speeches, claiming that Eothas visited him at night (taking the form of the Dawnstars) and imparted the divine message directly into his soul. 
Waidwen was nobody before that, a simple farmer who was raised a devout Eothasian by his parents, who could never quite tame his inquisitive mind. Waidwen wondered about many forbidden subjects, such as the world without the gods and whether it was truly fair to offer thanks to the gods for the work of their, kith hands. His doubts were met with violence from his pious father, who was more interested in piety than parenting. Even on his death bed, consumed by the Vorlas Cough, his father stood by his faith, demanding to know if his son honored the gods. He never apologized. To Waidwen, his father's death was essentially liberation.
He tilled the vorlas fields, taking his meager harvest to town and selling it, while watching countless criminals sentenced and executed. When Eothas came to him one day in the fields, he was about to finish and head home. The god offered him a choice, to rebuild an empire - and Waidwen accepted.
Aedyran reaction[edit | edit source]
According to Eothas, the people of Readceras were being punished for their lack of piety and the devotion they misplaced in the Aedyran governor. Authorities faced a difficult choice. Imprisoning him could incite a rebellion. If they acted impartial, then antiestablishment notions and religious fervor threatened to infect the minds of the people. As such, they attempted to discredit the man. The town guard seized Waidwen in the middle of his most widely attended speech, erected a pillory, and restrained the emaciated farmer. An enforcer read the list of Waidwen’s crimes, which encompassed a broad range of shaming accusations from cruel statements to a child, through animancy, to public indecency, sexual congress with a cean gŵla, and venereal disease.
A brief hearing followed proclamations of guilt and a sentence of thirty lashes. The crowd protested, but Waidwen placated them with his full consent to carry out the punishment. After the first five lashes, the enforcement officer hesitated and consulted with others on the dais. Waidwen never screamed. Every bite of the whip opened another strip of light from the farmer’s skin. When the anxious colonial secretary called for the punishment to stop prematurely, Waidwen demanded more. According to the Eothasians in attendance, his voice sounded “not his own.” 
As the officer delivered the final lash, a brilliant, white light exploded from Waidwen’s back and engulfed his head in a flaming crown. He stood up, the chains falling from his arms in molten pieces. With the full attention of the colony, the thing that was Waidwen finished his speech. He called for the people to rise up—not as a mob, but as pilgrims tasked with delivering the bloody will of the divine.
Divine Kingdom[edit | edit source]
After the Miracle of the Verdant Vorlas, Waidwen quickly gathered followers, drawn to the stories of Eothas's miraculous prophet. His power grew. Within days, Waidwen had gained enough support that he confronted the imperial governor. Assisted by a collection of knights and nobles who had been swayed to his cause, he marched on the capitol city. The governor was allowed to live, but was forced to abdicate power and leave the colony. This was not from any understanding or easy acquiescence from the governor, but because of what happened when Waidwen entered the governor's palace. As Waidwen approached the governor, according to accounts, his body turned into something that was no longer human. His flesh became luminescent and his head transformed into pure, blinding light.
The governor, knowing there was no way he could oppose an avatar of Eothas, relinquished his power. The people then asked Waidwen to lead the colony. He accepted, earning him the name ‘Divine King’ of Readceras. Waidwen's rule was virtually uncontested. Initially this was because everyone was awed that a god had chosen to manifest himself and lead his people. This changed as Waidwen began punishing the allies of the old empire and the ‘poison on the world’ - what he considered corrupt churches or church leaders of Eothas. Scrutiny escalated and soon worshippers of Eothas were also being punished for mere perceptions of heresy. Members of other religions were also added to the list of the persecuted for following different faiths. This caused large segments of the population to flee Readceras for the Dyrwood, begging for sanctuary. This caused strife between the two nations. The people of the Dyrwood knew that they could not sustain explosive population growth if Waidwen's rule were to continue unchecked. They also feared that his eye would turn from Readceras and land on them next if nothing was done. This was exactly what ultimately happened, and open war broke out as Waidwen moved to spread his dominion into the lands of Dyrwood.
Waidwen personally led many of the battles during the war, exhibiting extraordinary supernatural powers. He seemed virtually untouchable on the battlefield, able to burn or even disintegrate his enemies with beams of blinding, white light. With a god on his side and possibly, as some said, inhabiting him, he was thought to be indestructible. A flanking maneuver through The White March mountains, enabled by the abject surrender of Cold Morn in the face of overwhelming odds and the sacking of Mercy Vale left Dyrwood's morale in shambles, setting a grim tone for the rest of the campaign.
The victorious streak lasted until the Battle of Halgot Citadel. The people of the Dyrwood knew they would lose the war if they could not at least slow Waidwen down. Engineers, priests of Magran, and a few others, working in secret (some say with Magran’s direct help), developed a weapon they hoped would be able to stop a god. Twelve feet in diameter and filled with a variety of chemical and magical explosives, the bomb was rolled under Evon Dewr Bridge. Part of the foundation was excavated in order to allow them to embed the bomb in the bridge itself, ensuring its total concealment.
Twelve Dyrwoodan men and women volunteered to stage and ambush at the bridge to keep Waidwen on it until the bomb could be detonated. The battle was short, bloody, and ultimately final. ‘The Dozen’ (as they came to be known) were able to delay Waidwen on the bridge. The bomb detonated, killing Waidwen, the four Dyrwoodan volunteers still alive at that time, and over fifty Readceran soldiers marching on the front line with Waidwen. It was at that moment The Saint's War ended. The remaining Readceran forces were easy to rout. Even though they had more than enough men and equipment to finish the siege, their leader - previously thought invincible - had just vanished in a rain of metal and stone. Panic set in and the Dyrwoodan troops sent them away with ease.
From that point on, the bomb was known by the name ‘Godhammer.’ It even worked its way into everyday conversation. "As sure as Godhammer ended the Saint's War," came to be a standard phrase to express unequivocal certainty. Less certain is the fate of Eothas, who has not spoken to his followers since the explosion of the bomb and is presumed by most to be dead. There has never been another documented explosion of such magnitude, and efforts to locate the engineers and clergy responsible for the bomb have been entirely fruitless (they were wiped out by Magran, except for one, Durance).
The eventual failure of the conflict left Readceras a modest refuge for devout Eothasians. Strictly imposed faith and discipline led to the country’s reputation as a counterpoint to the progress and innovation of Dyrwood. Its people live in close-knit communities with no lack of oversight, their policies determined by societal and religious judgment as opposed to mortal law. Many Eothasians fled to Readceras or the Aedyr Empire following the end of the war, as purges of Eothasians began across the Dyrwood, only intensifying with the advent of Waidwen's Legacy.
Interactions[edit | edit source]
|This character is involved in quests.|
Quests[edit | edit source]
Trivia[edit | edit source]
- St. Waidwen is based on legends of Hans Böhm, the Drummer of Niklashausen.