- "Fear inspires obedience; love inspires devotion."
Emperor Weardsten (6 B.D.I. - present), called Weardsten the Merciful and The Black-maned Lion in his lifetime, is the second monarch of House Blain and the current ruler of Asgarnia. Despite great obstacles laid against him during the reigns of Malcolm and Blair (his predecessors, and Arthsenhal's conquerors), Weardsten, through military skill he inherited from his father, as well as connections throughout Gielinor from his various travels as a knight, managed to claim the capital of the old empire as his own. Thus did he establish his right, by conquest, to all the lands over which Falador resided.
Notable for his honorable nature and (at least compared to previous Asgarnian kings') merciful decrees, Weardsten has been much more popular among his subjects than his nobility, who have tried and failed to rebel against his reign multiple times.
Birth and Early Life Edit
King Arthsenhal and his wife, Queen Errin, had been trying to bear children for many years already by the time Weardsten was finally born, into their fourth decade of leadership over the massive empire. As their only child, he was groomed to be the sole sovereign ruler of the empire after they had passed. Even his name is indicative of this, as it is derived from two Fremennik words: weard ("guard" or "warden") and stænen ("stone"). And, eventually, the "stone-warden" indeed returned to Falador, to fulfill his intended role.
By the time the Misthalin Union had reached Falador, when the boy was just five years of age, already he was being groomed, and trained in rudimentary swordplay, although his father's death cut this training tragically short. Errin and the son were smuggled into Lumbridge territory by the king's most trusted officials, where they would live on the farm belonging to Errin's brother. There they stayed for over a decade.
Errin, fearing that the fate which had befallen her husband would befall her only son as well, hid both her husband's heritage, and her own, from the boy, who instead was raised to be a baker's apprentice in a nearby town. Until the age of fifteen he lived this way, tending to the errands of his master and learning from him, inadvertently building up strength and strong work ethics which would later serve him during his role as emperor.
It was at age fifteen that the first inkling of royalty infiltrated Weardsten's life; when he was tending to the bakery in his master's ill absence, an assassin managed to find, and attempt to kill him. When two men barged in and saved Weardsten's life, they were willing then to sit down with him, over several hours, and tell the story of how he came to be, and explain who had sent the assassin and why. The men, as they revealed, were Roran Seercal, Ingiof's court mage; and General Luke Hood of King Marcus' military. As they explained, Emperor Malcolm, the man who had killed Ingiof in the field of Falador, had been trying to kill the bloodline for nearly a decade, with dozens of assassins trying and failing to locate the boy. So fearful was the potency of Blain blood, in Malcolm's mind, that he had been trying to kill Weardsten even when he was a toddler, and when news reached the emperor, of an assassin falling to a blade in Lumbridge, his fear seemed only affirmed.
Luke, as he explained, already knew about Weardsten and Errin Golgwir, and had been protecting them from assassins for many years, which Errin could testify, as she often complained about the soldiers trampling her brother's property. And although it's debated, Weardsten believes they let that assassin past them deliberately, so they had the opportunity to save him, introduce themselves, and tell him the story of his father, and the kingdom he was owed.
For ten years Weardsten had been taught, through the propaganda of Marcus and Malcolm combined, and also through travelling minstrels' caustic songs, that House Blain was for villains and devils only, so when he heard this, he entered a bout of depression for many months. He went so far as to contemplate committing suicide, for the shame and humiliation he felt. However, ultimately deciding to fulfill his obligation to King Luke, he drove those thoughts away from himself, focusing instead on becoming a knight. One such task, as a squire, brought him to Falador, where Weardsten would later remark that Luke had certainly sent him there deliberately, to see the beauty of the city and desire that beauty for himself.
The purpose of the mission was delivering a letter to Emperor Malcolm himself; though the emperor, still paranoid over his assassins' failures, refused to meet "Órfegg" in person, instead having one of his knights receive the letter and then turn the boy away. It was in the capital's most famous bar, the Rising Sun, where Weardsten met his future wife, Emma, and her mother Emily; relatives of David Azayer (Arthsenhaal's closest associate) through marriage and conception.
As Emily, who owned and operated the bar during the day, lamented, Malcolm's knights and squires were largely allowed to do as they pleased, as were important church figures and other renowned Saradominists; nearby, Emma endured harassment from several drunken squires as to affirm this. Deciding to put a stop to it, Weardsten confronted one, who, though about his age, was much larger, and angry when drunk. Having tried to buy Emma for the night, the squire challenged Weardsten to a duel over her, which Weardsten won by impaling the squire's gut. After cleaning his blade, he escaped the city, dragging Emma close behind, because he did not want her to testify against him; furthermore, as a squire himself, he felt obliged to protect her, and could not do that if she remained in Falador while he returned to Lumbridge.
Later, when Emma followed Weardsten and Luke to Draynor, as part of their efforts to help the country recover post-plague, she met Syggstrunn Wiluwfleut, a Fremennik who inspired her with tales of his country's shieldmaidens; and Ondvert Hadelbrum, an Ardougnish mercenary who was willing to teach her how to fight, while he was stationed to maintain order in Draynor's capital. She learned the longsword, and would go on to inspire hundreds of Faladian girls to become shieldmaidens like her.