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The Wicker King
Wickerking2

Gender:

Male

Race:

Human/Plant hybrid

Nationality:

Galuyn

Titles:

Leader of the Wickers
King of Thorns

Affiliations:

The Wickers

This article is part of a series on the
Galuyns
GaluynCrest

Elder Blood Clans

Dualach-laoch (Gnarled) · Cráifeach (Thorned) · Galubaile (Wickenden) · Darach-Rugadh (Oakenborn) · Riamhtine (Everflame) · Tonn-siúlóir (Wavewalker) · Ceann-fuar (Chillborn)

Smaller Clans

Gabhatine · Saorthit-abhainn (Crakeriver) · Vuibhearn-croi (Dragonheart) · Saoi-fuar (Crithe) · Leanaí Iscia · Other, smaller clans.

Important Links

Wickenden City · Hirene Marsh (Hirene) · Council of the Coimeádaí · Ironwood Keep · Old Ways · Rituals and Traditions of the Galuyn · Galui (Language) · Wicker King

See also, Blades of Greymane

The Wicker King is both a title and a person, as the person who bears the Wicker Crown transforms into this monstrosity. Originally merely the title for the leader of the united people of the Wickers when they went out on the warpath, the Wicker King has become an entity in its self that has derived many myths and fear amongst those of the era one surfaces. His true name, Naith Galubaile, was largely abandoned following his resurrection for that of his title.

HistoryEdit

The Wicker King was originally a title conceptualized at the beginning of the Wicker faction being created. Though his origin differs, some claiming him to be a mercenary soldier under the Cobals, others under the Stantons and some even claiming that he was a slave, all accounts recognize that the first king was a man of great strength and coercion.

The First KingEdit

The first Wicker King surfaced when the Cobal and Stanton families warred against each other in a vile blood feud in the Ashen Coast of Gilneas. While the pagan people of Gilneas had joined the Arathorian Empire, many had felt that they were being treated as lesser within the empire. Ambitious settlers from the core of the Empire had made their way to the mostly untapped lands of Gilneas, fertile and mineral rich in their status, and began to found towns amongst the land. While at first many of the pagan peoples of Gilneas saw this as a non-issue, as they were all part of the same empire, over time they found that as more settlers flooded in, land was growing scarce and their population had lost control over these regions. Conversion began, as well as minor religious persecution. Over the years, the pagan peoples of Gilneas developed their own smaller communities, mostly near the forests, and drew ever inward.

Around 900 U.A.R., the Cobals and Stantons, two families that had settled within the Ashen Coast and began a blood feud for control, began to enlist various pagan clans into their fold in order to make the deaths less personal and less impacting to their settlements. This resulted in the feud erupting into small armies versus armies, clashing constantly as the two families puppeteered the clans against each other. Seeking respite from this blood feud, many fled into the Reach, founding a city known only as Wickenden within the trees. The wars began to die down again as many clans began to pull away from the feud in search of peace, though there were some who had become so embroiled against one another that they had forgotten their common roots.

Wickerking

The Wicker King as he first appeared.

Nearly three hundred years later, enraged by the continued lack of care for the pagan peoples of Gilneas and the gradual take over of the peninsula by perceived foreigners, a man known only as the Wicker King donned a Wicker Crown and proclaimed himself leader of a faction known as the Wickers. Swiftly claiming dominion over Wickenden, this king rallied many of the pagan peoples across the country under his banner and led a massive take over of the Ashen Coast. Enslaving the Cobal and Stanton families, the Wicker King then broke out into the fringes of Gilneas, destroying and enslaving all in his path. Gradually, the peninsula was over taken by the Wickers and the War of Thorns began.

Though originally seen as a compassionate and self righteous man by first accounts, later accounts of the Wicker King describe him as cruel hearted and cold, torturing those who had been enslaved for amusement. The original man that sought to see his people in what he perceived as their rightful place in Gilneas had been corrupted by power and replaced by a degenerate dictator. Taking the Cobal and Stanton families as his personal slaves, the Wicker King ruled from the Ashen Coast and was known to traverse Gilneas to ensure his rule was kept proper. Demeric Jaxon, the leader of the Arathorian Legion in the area, plotted against the Wicker King by arming and aiding his slave armies, and in a twist of fate the Wicker King was mortally wounded by the united Cobals and Stantons. Many believed this to be the end of the Wicker King, as he was evacuated to Wickenden, though within a few months time as the Legion began to retake Gilneas, the king returned.

His gnarled wicker crown had grown into his body, thorns and roots driving through his skin and replacing where appendages should have been. Wielding terrible power, the Wicker King began to aggressively lead his armies against the Arathorian legion, even as they lost ground. It was not until Jaxon was captured that the legion was halted. The king had him executed at the cliffs of the Reach, driving a large root spike through the legionnaire's back and plummeting him into the sea. Rather than halt the legion as hoped, the Legion returned once more into the brink and a charge led by Jaxon's son resulted in the Wicker King's capture. By the time of his capture, he was described to be "more plant and root than man" and was seen as a monster. Despite multiple attempts to execute him, the king surrounded himself in an impenetrable barrier of roots as he mocked his captors from within. However, this barrier would prove to be his undoing as the legion lit the cage of roots ablaze, burning him alive within a prison of his own making. In the end, the only thing that was not burnt to a crisp was the gnarled Wicker Crown that sat upon his ashen corpse, undamaged by the flames. The crown was later recovered by the Wickers, and though Wickenden was ordered to be subjugated, the legion could never find it.

The Second KingEdit

Accepting the rule of Arathor begrudingly, the Galuyn people found themselves slowly losing more and more land to arriving settlers whom had deemed the land Gilneas. Not only this, but their own people found it easier to assimilate into Arathorian culture, rather than resist. As a result, the Galuyn culture progressively fell apart.

While it survived through the Empire of Arathor, the cultural identity of these people were shattered. Countless other sects of Old Ways groups had popped up over time, and by the time that Aderic I came to power to resist Lordaeron aggression, the Galuyn people were desperate. Latching onto the king's promises of cultural freedom to spread without hindrance, the Galuyns declared for Aderic and fought against Lordaeron, eventually finding the freedom they craved.

This persisted until the King's death, where his son, Baelic I, was unable to continue the promise his father made as readily; as the southern expansions of the more common Gilnean culture was pervasive.

Thus began the Second War of Thorns, where the Wickers rose once again in an attempt to preserve themselves. Led by a charismatic leader whose name was lost to time, he commissioned the Oakenborn caste to construct a large fortress-castle that he would lead from. Dubbed Ironwood Keep, the Galuyns began to push back against Gilnean encroachment, seeking to prevent their culture from being lost, and to prevent nearby Gilnean families from using their people to fight their own wars as mercenaries or slaves. The War reached its apex when the second King was mortally injured by an assassin's poison. Just before his death, however, he was crowned with the Wicker Crown. Miraculously, he recovered. However, as time went on, the King's personality came to resemble that of Naith, going so far as to call himself that, before it became apparent. The old king was gone, in his place was that of the Wicker King himself, resurrected through his body.

His atrocities continued, enslaving and sacrificing the Gilneans in droves, as well as his opposition. Upon his council, the Oakenborn liaison had seen enough. Contacting his people, the Oakenborn rebelled, primarily those of Flame's Berth. Those that did not, were mass slaughtered by the Wicker King. In his madness, he believed he could simply enslave what was left of the Oakenborn that had rebelled or that he had not slaughtered, which would allow them to be a caste of slaves. However, his extreme measures were ruthless, slaughtering the bulk of the Oakenborn, before enslaving the Everflame who too harbored feelings of rebellion.

The remnants of the Oakenborn then allied with Gilneas, leading them to the flaws in Ironwood's defenses, and allowing the Wicker King to be set to the fire once again. What remained of the Oakenborn joined with Gilneas, assimilating one way or another, or became reclusive clans in the far reaches of the Ashen Coast. Without the Oakenborn, the Galuyn people lost most of their ability to read and write proficiently, their weaponcraft became sluggish, and ultimately, their ability to construct was almost entirely lost. To make matters worse, the grueling bloodwar that the Wicker King had waged had cost many of the clans countless lives, leading to the collapse of their society.

The Castes were no more, as the Oakenborn ceased to exist, the Everflame scattered, the Thorned self-collapsed, and the Chillborn vanished. All that remained were the remnants of the Gnarled, the Wavewalkers and Wickenden it's self. The Wickers drew inward, and ultimately, the nation of Galu ceased to exist.

Final ReturnEdit

For ages, the Wicker King was silent, his soul having been rended in three. The first fragment was placed under the land by way of the Wicker Crown, laid under what would become the Viscounty of the Frost, under the care of the Chillborn in the guise of the House of Frostvine. This fragment echoed his power out into the Reach it's self, causing the Reachman's Curse. An affliction that caused many Reachmen to fall into irrational anger and over ambition, resulting in countless wars amongst its self. The second fragment was entrapped within the House of Darkoak's sword, Blackroot. The Blade had once been the Wicker King's favored weapon and was taken by the Oakenborn that used it to slay him. Entrapped within the blade, the Wicker King's bloodlust would often take control of the user, resulting in the Blade carrying a legacy of bloodletting.

The final fragment was the smallest, eschewed by Naith himself in the final moments of his life unbeknownst to all but the Thorned Council. While but a minor fragment, the smallest part of Naith was able to infiltrate into the Realm of Spirits, also known as the Emerald Dream. There, he wandered for eons, learning natural magic and making this fragment strong with knowledge. For a time, it calmed his madness as well. During this time, Naith had realized the folly of his actions, and fell deep into depression, for it was this fragment that held the majority of his mental capacity.

Wandering the Dream, Naith found peace in the Dream's endless fields, and progressively came to change over time. When contacting the Thorned Council, he had found most of them had fallen into the same madness he had ages past, and as such, he had abandoned his people. This feeling of longing and guilt would eventually become too strong for this fragment of his soul, however, which caused this remainder of what he once was to slowly lose his internal peace. By the modern times, his fragment had become one of conflicting grief and guilt, something prayed upon by the Emerald Nightmare. Transforming Naith, he found his doubts alleviated as the Nightmare promised the rise of his people. Cured of his madness, Naith was whole once more, though his ambition had been heightened to an extreme. Gone was his care for his people's restoration, now he sought only to bring about an empire in his image.

This fragment would return to Wickenden City and ultimately lead a crusade against the Gilneans of the Duchy of the Ashen Coast. Capturing Blackroot, the smallest fragment reunited with himself and that portion that lay in the Wicker Crown. With this, he transformed Wickenden into a city of the Nightmare, butchering all who opposed him until the Blades of Greymane invaded, aided by the Oakenborn member of the Thorned Council.

Enraged, Naith set out in battle against the Blades, but was defeated and banished once again. His soul was sent screaming into the Emerald Nightmare, where it was severed entirely from the Galuyn people, and the Wickers finally fell apart once and for all.

Spirit of the NightmareEdit

While unable to re-constitute in his physical form after his defeat, Naith has joined the Burning Legion's plot as a liaison of the Nightmare, seeking eternal life under the Legion's countless armies. His soul is but a whisper of his former power, and as a result, has gone largely unnoticed.

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