Belintar was a human being who swam ashore from the deadly sea at the Rightarm Island of Sandpaper one bright morning in the year 1313. He had great bearing and power, and quickly proved he was no mere pauper washed ashore. He undertook great trials and travels, and he made important friends quickly. His origins have remained unknown, though all hell knows that the Only Old One tried.
Belintar revealed that he had come to depose the Only Old One and liberate the land from darkness. He did this through the process of mustering ancient allies on Heroquests and opposing the magical forces which aided the Only Old One. Belintar called forth many of the Silver age heroes, plus others of a more recent or different origin. The process was long and difficult. At one point, Belintar was slain and completely devoured. But in the end, he succeeded. He met the Only Old One himself in combat and cast him down and cut him into pieces. Then he pulverized the Palace of Black Glass, covering all the Shadow Plateau with dense, heavy black sand which smothers most life. He made other changes in the land too: raising Loon Island and creating the City of Wonders in the center of the Mirrorsea; digging the New River to divert the Creek-Stream River to flow into the Lyksos River past Nochet, among others. He then took the title of God-King and began his rule.
The ascension of the God-King in 1318 also marks the beginning use of the term Holy Country to describe this land. Belintar first used it in his proclamation of rule and the tribes all about echoed it, for the land was kept holy by the rites arranged by the God-King. It prospered internally and cowed all who might think to invade it. It sent messengers and merchants outward to the west, through Nimistor to Ralios and beyond.
The Holy Country contained many old secrets which people sought. The investigations of the Jrusteli and the Empire of the Wyrms Friends had unleashed terrible powers which changed the face of the world. Heroquesting had explored and released many ancient things which were blamed for the terrible state of life in the Third Age. Thus, most people shied from investigation and heroquesting. Yet such forces cannot be suppressed by official decree nor unnatural fear once they are remembered, and folk across the continent again used them, carefully.
In contrast, Belintar encouraged exploration of the mythic paths that tied the Holy Country together. Belintar himself explored the Other Side many times and each time proved himself worthy of ruling over a part of the population. He divided the Holy Country into six sections – one dedicated to each of the five Elemental Runes, plus one for the Invisible God of the humanist sorcerers. None were equal in either size or splendor, yet each of them were filled with miraculous holy places whose names are known throughout the speaking worlds. They were:
- Caladraland, the Sixth of Fire;
- Esrolia, the Sixth of Earth;
- Heortland, the Sixth of Air;
- Right Arm Islands, the Sixth of Water;
- Shadow Plateau, the Sixth of Darkness; and
- Left Arm Islands (usually called God Forgot), the Sixth of the Invisible God.
At the center of it all was Belintar and his magical palace at the City of Wonders. From here, he arranged the rituals and ceremonies that tied the Sixths together and blessed the whole land.
The extensive cross-cult communication and interaction under Belintar’s patronage resulted in a mythical synthesis that defined the elemental progression as a continuous cycle rather than as a mere set of oppositional conflict. Belintar’s elemental synthesis enabled the six parts of the Holy Country to work together – not only politically and militarily, but magically and mythologically. Under his enlightened rule, the gods of the Holy Country cooperated for the maintenance of the individual, the Holy Country, and the cosmos. The Holy Country became a land of myth and wonder, where the myriads of religious rites brought the gods down weekly, and where magical roads crossed land, sea, and air.
In 1336, Belintar “used up” his body the first time and the first of the Tournament of the Masters of Luck and Death was held, which resulted in his divine soul blessing a new body. The Tournament of the Masters of Luck and Death was part of Belintar’s elemental synthesis. It recharged and made necessary changes to the magical pathways that united the Holy Country’s mythological landscape.
The story of Belintar is of course woven together with the Mythos that I previously posted.