The Way of Hrestol


The Way of Hrestol began in the land of Seshnela in the year 2 ST, but its importance stems from the culture from which it separated, the Brithini. This prehistoric culture began long before the Darkness and it’s the root of the Western culture of Glorantha.

The ancient race of Brithos was called the Malkioni after its father and founder, or sometimes Brithini after the island goddess who was the mother of that people.

Malkion and Britha had five children, four of whom were sons and established the four Malkioni castes. There was also a daughter who established the Britha Priestesses, so important on Brithos. Malkion’s children populated the land, and established the Kingdom of Logic and its form.

Talar was eldest, and he received the Crown of Malkion as his share of his father’s realm; Zzabur the Sorcerer Supreme was second, and was master of the spiritual world; Horal Swordson was third, and was a soldier who carried a sword from Humakt the war god; and Dronar Plow was last, who had so many children who worked merrily for the support of the older brothers.

The Malkioni fared well during the War of the Gods, especially with the skills of Zzabur, who was as powerful as many of the gods of the time. Once, they even forestalled a dire internal dispute which could have torn them apart and made them easy pretty for Chaos, as happened to so many others.

This event led to the departure of Talar’s eldest son, Froalar, Prince and heir to the throne, from Brithos to avoid a civil war with his brothers. Many others went with him, and they started the first Malkioni colony called Froalarwal (later shortened to Frowal) in Seshnela.

Froalar led his people, called the Seshnegi, through the Great Darkness, and even aided the hostile beast worshipers of the wild who were his enemies. His wife, Xemela, performed a heroic self-sacrifice and saved her people from darkness demons and Chaos. When the Dawn came, the peoples of Frowal found themselves well off in comparison to the rest of the world.

However, the wild hill barbarians showed no gratitude or friendship, and quickly returned to harassment and war. Froalar and his court zzaburi were distressed as to the proper course of action. The goddess Ifttala, a daughter of Seshna Likita the Earth Goddess, was the mother of the hill barbarians and as long as she aided them, the Dawn Age would be ruled by war and conflict.

And so, in the spring of the second year of Time, Prince Hrestol, the son of King Froalar, swore to slay Ifttala and bring peace to the land. When Hrestol asked his father’s zzaburi how this could be done, they said:“You must be as a god and know what they know. You must be a leader, as you are now. But it is not enough. You must be a warrior, and know how to wield a sword as well as any man bred to it. You must know prayers, like your cousins who study under me. And you must know the secrets of the earth, like the plowmen who feed us. Only thusly by combining the four tasks which Malkion gave to his sons will you be as a god to perform a god’s task.

”The court feared this was blasphemy, and Hrestol purified himself and went to the temple of Malkion the Founder to ask the ancestor. Malkion revealed himself to Hrestol and presented the hero with a helm and shield, armor and a sword, and a book. And as he did so he spoke saying, “Let the old ways be changed in Seshneg, for you are set upon by a mighty foe. Let those who would lead do so. Let those who would fight do so. Let those who would reap and sow do so. Let those who would study and learn sorcery do so. Go forth, and do as you wish, for my blessings go with you. And may all the gods look upon you with favor.

”And thus it was that Prince Hrestol became the first of the Men-of-All, the champions of the Malkioni. Hrestol became the best swordsman in the land. He learned the earth secrets of the farmers and spells of battle that blunt enemy’s blades and staunch the flow of blood from a wound. He studied the sacred book which Malkion gave him and was the basis of the Code of Hrestol. He tamed the wild horse and learned how to fight from horseback. When he was ready, Hrestol went into the earth and with Malkion’s sword he slew Ifttala.

Although successful in his quest, Hrestol was slain, not by the barbarians but by Seshna Likita, Ifttala’s mother and goddess of the land. However, the Prince managed to retain some memory, skills and identity in the Land of the Dead and continued his quest.

When King learned of Hrestol’s death, Froalar set off himself to beg for the return of his son’s life. Froalar met with the goddess Seshna Likita and successfully bargained with her for Hrestol’s return. Froalar could not return Ifttala in return, and so Hrestol was exiled forever from Seshnela. Hrestol went on to commit other great deeds, but none were ever as far reaching or important as his Godslaying. Hrestol taught others the way of the Men-of-All (sometimes translated as “chivalry” or “knights”) and they rose to greatness and carried on as a shining example for humanity for generations.