The Faelands consist of seven realms - one central (oak) and six surrounding lands, each ruled by a reigning Aesir of their own tree. The Lamhánhe (Elmlands) were guarded by the Aesir* Míogharch, up until their destruction during the First Faean War 700 years ago. Míogharch was an eccentric ruler. He had little interest in romantic companionship, and instead preferred to spend his days doting over his beloved Zaevíi. The Lamhánhe were the birthplace of the Zaevíi, and each faean Tree Realm enjoyed the company and protection of these creatures thanks to the Lamhánhe.
Tragically, as Míogharch had no heir - or even wife or husband - the Lamhánhe fell upon his slaying. Every elm in the Faelands and beyond cracked and crumbled. Blackened root and cracked trunk were all that remained of the once stately and wide-branched elms. Today, the Lamhánhe is but a graveyard of twisted wood, long since dead yet barely decayed. Few, if any, of Míogharch's beloved household Zaevíi escaped. Other Zaevíi survive in the remaining Tree Realms, but when he died, he suffered the pain of watching not only his trees crumble, but also hearing the panicked screams, and then silence, of the only creatures he loved.
On his last breath, he spoke these words:
My heir, should he live,
Should he find a new father,
Shall bring life once more to the Elms.
When father dies,
When child mourns,
Both born of lands not of his body,
The Lamhánhe will breathe again.
As the words were transcribed from Faean, it may not be a perfect translation. Many have expressed confusion upon him mentioning his 'heir', as all knew Míogharch to be childless. Be it a true prophecy or the last, delirious words of a brokenhearted monarch, many still cling desperately to their truth. For until the Lamhánhe is restored, the protective Veil of the Faelands remains marred by a gaping hole. And all it will take to dissolve its power is if another Tree Realm falls.
I'm really enjoying making these coats of arms for the Bronze Feather story. In case you're curious about the symbolism in this one:
Zaevíi: The native creatures of the Lamhánhe, and protectors of the Veil. Zaevíi have the power to block unwanted magic or energy portals, and have been used as protection for the Veil and homes. The Great Oak Throne has five ancient Zaevíi surrounding it in unbreakable protection.
Elm: The tree of the Lamhánhe.
Crow: One of the guardian birds of the Lamhánhe. Upon the Lamhánhe's destruction, every crow fell to the control of another. Crows have not been able to be trusted since the fall of the Lamhánhe. Ravens, jays and magpies have not fallen to this dark power.
Moonstone: Stone which holds power in the Lamhánhe
"Dhevhain Elegn Emvhari" means "Arms Which Reach and Shelter"
*"Aesir" is a faean title for the ruler of a Tree Realm
Watercolor on hot-press Fabriano, 10X12 inches