THE HAMMERSFELD PARCHMENTS

DESCRIPTION - ORIGIN - HISTORY - IMPORTANCE

Around the year 1540 a.S., long before the Great Compendium was published by Sage Artimidor Federkiel 1660 a.S., old letters dating back over more than thousand years were rediscovered in the remains of the Great Library. What are now called the Hammersfeld Parchments are the last proof that the direct royal line of Santhros the Wise of the House of Salazath had not die out with the supposed death of the son of King Thaenos and his Queen Mererra of Harvinsbrook in 167 a.S. They had been found and lost again in the flux of the last millennium. Their recovery in the ruins of the Great Library in the early years of the Age of Reunion definitely helped Grothunc the Wise to ascend the throne.

Description
. If someone asks one of the librarians of the Great Library in New-Santhala to show him the original of the so called Hammersfeld Parchments, he would be surprised to find a fairly plain leather wrapper on his desk, out of a dark brown leather, bound with strong straps and a now broken seal.

Inside are three old looking letters, written on fine vellum, a little brittle at the edges, but otherwise in astonishing good condition. Both have the same address on the outside and the same sender. The writing points to somebody with skill in this matter, the letters are exactly set, the initials very finely crafted. The last and shortest letter however seems to be written in a kind of emotional imbalance, the letters are less exact and there is even a tiny spot of ink under the name. But that won't surprise anyone who has read the content.

The letters are, as their content tells us, written by a lesser cleric, Fridloff Ciosaskjun, a Cleric of Armeros working in Santhala, to his superior, Father Eynael the Longlived of Jernais. The titles (His Holiness, Most Reverend, Excellency) used for this superior point at a very high ranked person, maybe even at the head of all priests of Armeros at this time. The Refuge of Rimmerin existed obviously already, which would become so important later in the Clerical Age. To note is also, that it is "Santhala", which had been not yet destroyed, an indication, that the date of the letters is no fake. It is to hope, that research will find out more about Excellency Eynael of Jernais, for he seems to have played an important role in politics. Mentioned is also the head cleric Ksabe‘eki Quia of the temple of Queprur in Santhala, a woman with Eyelian ancestors who is still known by the poems she wrote. Brother Skan, a lower cleric of Grothar in Onved, who wrote the confession down, seems of no bigger importance.

THE FIRST LETTER

5th of Armerstar, 203 a.S.

To His Holiness,
The Most Reverend
Servant of Armeros
Excellency Father Eynael the Longlived of Jernais
Refugium of Rimmerin


Your Excellency, my Father,

excuse me for intruding your seclusion, but I have news of utmost importance for you. Today the head cleric Ksabe‘eki Quia of the temple of Queprur in Santhala came to me to report of what she has learned last night. She had been over to Onved and there a local priest had asked, hesitantly, for an interlocution. That granted, he inquired further, if he could breach the seal of the confessional, if he had come to know something very important, something to do with the Santhran. Of course Mother Quia affirmed him, that this would be his duty and that the seal would not be observed as broken, if he only told it to a superior of a congregation. And indeed, it is a secret, which can bring war to the whole country, if we are not wise. He had written down a confession, that he himself had heard from an old midwife. As the bark he used is quite brittle, I copy the words to the vellum:

Today, a midwife, Elrita Barj’van, came to me and confessed something terrible. I can only write down the words she uttered to me while coughing hardly, as she told me them, I cannot even them out, I dare not even anything out, I might alter the meaning. And that is every word she told me:

I was a midwife in the Lord‘s house, our Lord Dekem, I mean. Not the big house they have up somewhere in Erpheronia, but the one they own in Santhala. His wife was very heavy with child, the Lady Aerryn. And she gave birth to a little boy, a beautiful one with red, moist hair, but he was dead, he didn‘t do a single breath, the cord was around his neck and that was it. Our Lady was full of agony and I sent the girl who assisted me to fetch the Lord. He looked very angry, but then he smirked. He took the child and wrapped it in a blanket, patted on Lady Aerryn‘s head and said: „It‘s not dead, just a bit ill, you will have it later.“ Then he gave me a sign to follow him and I had to leave the Lady with the girl who helped me.

And then the horrible man, he... (The woman coughed and cried at this point) he asked me: „You have a daughter in the kitchen, don‘t you?“ And as I nodded he said: „ Well, if you want to have her well and healthy, you will now do what I tell you and then speak not a single word to anybody. Bring the child in the cellar and keep it hidden and cool - and well preserved - until I tell you to fetch it. Then go and wash yourself. The queen needs a new midwife and you got.. got recomm.. something I didn‘t understand - from - us.“ I did what I could, but I did not sense what he planned... otherwise I might have ... (The woman started crying) I had to attend to the queen and when her time came and the child was nearly here I was ordered to give her ether against the pain, but in truth the queen only passed out to have her healthy son, our king‘s son, removed from her. And I was the one who had to do it . I found a reason to send all other attending women away for a couple of minutes and then it was done. The living child replaced with the dead one of the Lord Dekem. Lord Dekem took the little boy away, but before he left the room, he turned to me, smiling, but with eyes so menacing as if a demon would look out of them and he said just a few words: „ You will never say a word about what you have done, you know, I cursed you. One word, and not only you, but your daughter as well will be taken by demons to the netherworlds, not immediately, but soon enough, and all with you, who might have heard your words. So be wise, nobody will believe you anyway. Your word stands against mine... If the demons don‘t get you first, you will end on the stake..“ Then some commotion could be heard from outside the room and he laughed in a terrible way and left quickly through a back door. When the queen awoke from her sleep, she was told, that her child was born dead and of course it was too cold, but wrapped in a thick cloth one could not tell the difference.

Later I heard that Lord Dekem had a second son... I mean a living one... I did not stay long in his household though but took my daughter and fled in the woods. There we met a Baveras‘ Aid whom we could join and we never went back to Santhala. (She cried a little more.) The little boy, the one the queen had, he had been so sweet, had a little brown mark on his arm, but otherwise he was perfect. Will Queprur punish me, when she takes me away?

That‘s all the old woman said before she died.
Brother Skan, cleric of Grothar at Onved

Horrible news, and dangerous ones too. If, what that midwife says, is true, then a true heir of King Thaenos could still live, 36 years old only, in the best years to take the power back. ]We could get rid of that weakling and his witch Majida, King Santhros line would be restored! What can we do, what should we do? I hope my messenger will find you well and you can send back some instructions, what to do.

Looking forward to your advice

Fridloff Ciosaskjun
Cleric of Armeros, Santhala

This letter gives evidence, that there were trends within the political landscape of that time, which did not like the reign of the House of Hammersfeld, but would have warmly greeted the restoration of Santhros‘ House Salazath. Santhran Calron had been seen as weak and his wife Majida was mistrusted because of her heritage.

THE SECOND LETTER

10th of Armerstar, 203 a.S.

To His Holiness,
The Most Reverend
Servant of Armeros
Excellency Father Eynael the Longlived of Jernais
Refugium of Rimmerin


Your Excellency, my Father

I have not yet received notice from you, but as I have some new findings, I send another messenger after the first one.

I did some enquiry and found the apprentice midwife, now a woman in her sixties, whom the woman in the first report called ,girl‘. When Lady Aerryn‘s midwife and her daughter vanished, she became frightened and had been silent for her whole life, until I promised her, that she would be under the protection of the temple from now on. I wrote down as thoroughly as possible, what she had to say:

I had been a young apprentice midwife in the household of Count Dekem Hammersfeld. When the time had come, that his Lady Aerryn would have her second child I was called to assist at the birth. And there I witnessed, that his son was born dead, a beautiful child with moist red hair and a very pale complexion, but definitely not breathing. Then I was sent away to fetch Lord Dekem, but not without hearing the countess Aerr´yn crying full of agony. She did not leave her room for days. But then, when a week had passed, she emerged, to my surprise, with a baby in her arms. I knew, her child had been dead, I had seen him and I know, when all is too late. But now it did live again - and our Lady was so pale like never before. Rumours sprang up in the household, that something had to be wrong. The servants whispered about dark magic, about... necromassy, necromarncy or how it is called - or a demon living in the dead child and more. Lord Dekem treated us servants worse than normally, teasing us with cruel words and laughing in an ugly way, though he seemed somehow to be much more content than in the days before the unlucky birth. Elrita behaved strangely also, since she had come back from assisting with the royal birth. I thought she had to be proud to be called, but she looked haunted and then she left the household after a few days. She said she had to, because she had been cursed. ,The Lord cursed me‘, she whispered to me, but which Lord? Our Lord Dekem? Though he is a nasty man, I couldn‘t believe this, but in that time we were all afraid, and that strange child, crying day and night, was a heavy stone on our souls.

You can imagine, that I have been horrified, when, after three weeks, I was ordered to look after the baby. It had a nurse, but she was obviously not learned enough to keep it healthy. And as the Lord feared that our Lady Aerryn would go insane, if the child would die a second time... I mean, we all knew, it had been dead... I was commanded to take over. And then I saw the child. And was stunned. It was not the same baby, I swear. It had fine, very fine brown or black hair on his head, not as much and as red as the other child. It looked different also, every baby differs from the other. What was awful and what must have been very painful for the little one was that terrible wound on the forearm, as if its arm had fallen into the fire and was burned severely. It didn‘t want to heal either for a long time. No wonder he had cried so long. But otherwise the little boy was quite healthy. Lady Aerryn was quite fond of him, Lord Dekem not so much, but well, he was fond of nothing. I did not dare to mention that to anybody, that I thought it had to be a different child. Maybe it was the same child, and the demon in it had changed its appearance? When the boy grew up he seemed to be quite normal and all the rumours vanished with the time, mostly, because he was a friendly lad. Though, when something unusual happened, everybody observed him closely. As he grew older, he often was sent away to do some business till he vanished entirely. I think, most have been relieved to see him go.

It fits! Not a single discrepancy! The child was exchanged and the birthmark, typical for the House of Salazath burned out! That would also explain, why Lord Dekem send away his second son, Korrin Hammersfeld, for education to Parda and later to do trade business so far away as Strata and even Aeruillin, as is rumoured. What interests might an Erpheronian have in Aeruillin! And the house Hammersfeld in Erpheronia is now represented by his third son, Dekmar Hammersfeld. Father, we need to take action!

Yours respectfully

Fridloff Ciosaskjun
Cleric of Armeros, Santhala

It was indeed the third son who carried the Hammersfeld line on in Erpheronia. Korrim Hammersfeld was known to have married in Strata where he settled for the rest of his life. If he had ever been in Aeruillin is unsure. With these two letters evidence is given, that indeed the children were exchanged, but, as the third letter tells us, high clerical ranks seemed to have found it inopportune to make the treachery public which had taken place around fourty years earlier.

THE THIRD LETTER

30th of Armerstar, 203 a.S.

To His Holiness,
The Most Reverend
Servant of Armeros
Excellency Father Eynael the Longlived of Jernais
Refugium of Rimmerin

Your Excellency

I yield to Your wisdom, though I find it hard, to let injustice happen, to sacrifice justice for a peace, which is rotten. But as you say, we have not the might currently to stand up against the Hammersfeld dynasty, when the Linked Hands support the heir of the king, they brought into power. As brother Skan can‘t be witness anymore due to his undue death and the apprentice midwife has suddenly turned mad, we have no witnesses to prove our claim. What a disgrace. King Santhros true heir walks under the Injčrá and is not restored to his rights, nor his children.

Yours respectfully

Fridloff Ciosaskjun
Cleric of Armeros, Santhala Return to the top

Origin. The letters are obviously written in the month of the Awakening Earth by a cleric of Armeros, living in Santhala, to his senior, who stayed at this time in a religious refuge in the Rimmerins. This superior priest did obviously not share the opinion of his subordinated cleric to public the possible conspiracy. We do not know, what Excellency Eynael the Longlived knew, what for reasons he had to silence brother Fridloff Ciosaskjun and the cleric Quia of the temple of Queprur. The letters were kept secret and did not influence history at that time. Return to the top

History.
Santhros the Wise of the House Salazath has been without doubt not only the founder of Santharia, but probably the most revered and well liked ruler in the entire history of Santharia. So it is not surprising, that common people and many representatives of the nobility alike would have favoured a heir of him on the throne, especially in time of needs. The line ended - so most people thought - with the death of King Thaenos‘ son in the year 167 a.S. and the House Hammersfeld rose to power. Hopes of the for the continuation of the Santhros line were buried, for now.

It did not take long though, till rumours and prophecies spread under the common people, they took a strange turn however. Many of the poor and mistreated believed, that
Santhros would come back in time of dread and sorrow, that he would defy death to take over the rule and bring justice and wealth to his land again. The better educated populace could not share the belief, that Santhros himself would come back, but many hoped, especially after the country suffered after the end of the Golden Age of Kings, that one of his descendants would emerge magically out of nowhere. It indeed happened twice in history.

The first time shortly after the era of the Southern Wars around 1050 a.S., when a strong-minded man, Duke Sanmaros the Strong of House Salazath ascended the throne of the Northern part of the former kingdom. He proved to be a true descendant of
Santhros, for he had the typical birthmark of Santhros' line, a brown spot shaped like a phoenix on his inner left arm and an amulet, inherited from his mother, a noble woman who could trace back her ancestors to the House Salazath. His father had been of uncertain heritage, but had the birthmark also. He had claimed, he would be a direct descendant of Korrin Hammersfeld, but could not prove it. This claim shows, that the letters described above must have been known already at this time and their content accepted. Where they had been up to then, or in which library they had been guarded at the time of Duke Sanmaros we do not know. It may well be, that they were buried under hebs of dust in the then lost Great Library.

In the second half of the 16th century, Santhran Grothunc‘s father was born in Ximax. It is said, that he already had the birthmark and the amulet in his position. His father did not know of the importance and meaning of both, but it was discovered by a cleric who taught him as a child.

The letters were rediscovered some years before Grothunc ascended the throne. They may well have sparked the idea to reinstall the line of Santhros, once it was known, that a heir who could proof his lineage was ready to take the power.
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Importance. Birthmark and amulet are what was needed to prove that the line of Santhros had not died out. The rediscovery of the Hammersfeld Parchments came in handy to claim, that it is possible, that a direct heir of Santhros the Wise could exist. Korrim Hammersfeld, the exchanged child, son of the last direct heir of Santhros, King Thaenos, had three own sons and several grandchildren. However, many important documents were lost during the periods of war and destruction which covered the Santharian lands, so that no record is available which pins down every generation from father to son or daughter. So it is not possible to say, if Thar II or Grothunc the Wise are direct descendants of Korrim Hammersfeld, or if the line has always run in the firstborn, be it son or daughter. (This changed at the beginning at the Age of Discovery: From then on the firstborn was always the next ruler, be it male or female.) Both heirs of Santhros could well be the children of third borns, the amulet was probably not given to the firstborn, but to the firstborn daughter, though nobody can know today, who received it as a present from whom. Princess Saenýssa probably gave it to her oldest daughter, but she had been first of the royal line. (Theoretically one of the families could even have died out and the amulet given to a close friend, who was not related to Santhros' line, but we do not think it is the case.) The phoenix birthmark is characteristic for Santhros' line, but can show in last borns also.

The Hammersfeld Parchments do not help to clear those uncertainties, but their importance and their worth lie on a symbolic level: They prove, that the line of Santhros did not die out with King Thaenos, but his blood ran on strongly in a child who fathered many more children who influenced the kingdom in the one or other way. It is possible, and many believe, that is a fact, that Santhros' blood runs in our current ruler, our beloved Santhran Tiandor.
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 Date of last edit 3rd SleepingDreameress 1672 a.S.

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