Heroes of Midhgardhur
“Ethelland” is the island-realm of the Ethelling tribes, also called the Theodinga, who are cousins of the other folk of the North.
The current king, or cyning, of Ethelland is Eadweard Cyning the Cerdicing of Westseaxna Rice. He rules from the Westseaxna Rice, but of growing importance is the city of Thamesburg (also known as “Lundun,” an ancient city left by the Norrani, who had called it “Lundunium”).
At the top of Ethelland society is the cyning (“king”), the ruler of a kingdom or tribe. Beneath the cyning are the aethlings, (princes, “noble ones,” from whom the name of “Ethelland” ultimately derives), nobles of royal lines who would be eligible to be elected king when the current one dies. This election is held by the council called the witan, made up of the aethlings themselves and the ealdormen (“aldermen,” lesser nobility, not of the royal lines). The upper ranks of the ealdormen are called eorls (“earls,” parallel to Northern “jarls”). The loyal warriors, backbones of the military, in service to the aethlings, eorls, and ealdormen, are called thegns (“thanes”). In exchange for good service, thegns are rewarded with treasures, land, and possibly promotion to the ranks of the ealdormen. In the last few centuries, thegns have become part of the local witan, but this is a more recent development and not an ancient right of theirs. The average freeman of the Ethellings is known as a ceorl (pronounced like its modern equivalent, “churl,” parallel to the Northern “karl”). Free men can offer military service, mostly as infantry or archers, but are not assumed to be warriors. The lowest rung of Ethelland society is the theows or thralls, essentially serfs or slaves, with very few rights.
The Ethellings have traditionally followed their ancestral religion, which shares a common origin with the religion of the North. However, beginning in the late 6th and early 7th century N.Y. missionaries of the Hierarchy began to arrive on the shores of Prytania in large numbers to convert the heathens. The Dyovians have made great inroads in Ethelling society, but even among the converted great tolerance and respect for the traditional religion remains. Most of the Ethelling kings have walked a fine line between supporting their heathen subjects and placating the Hierarchy, which wants more drastic action taken against pagans and apostates. Neither the traditional Ethelling gods nor the Hierarchy have much love or tolerance for the old pagan religion of the Prytani.
The Heptarchy (The Seven Kingdoms of Ethelland, now all part of The Kingdom of Ethelland)
- East Ethellinga Rice – formerly an independent kingdom, now under Eohric Cyning, or Eirikur Konungur, as a splinter kingdom of The Denalagu
- Eastseaxna Rice – conquered by Ecgberht of Westseaxna Rice in 825 and subsumed into that kingdom under Eadweard Cyning
- Cantaware Rice – became part of the same realm as Westseaxna Rice under Eadweard Cyning
- Myrce Rice – formerly a kingdom, now the western part is under Ealdorman Aethelred the Icling (owing allegiance to Eadweard Cyning), the eastern half being part of The Denalagu.
- Northhymbra Rice – formerly a kingdom, now the majority is part of The Denalagu.
- Suthseaxna Rice – In 825 submitted to Ecgberht of Westseaxna Rice, now under Eadweard Cyning
- Westseaxna Rice – Eadweard Cyning
Ethelland occupies the central, largest part of the island of Prytania, but it is not the only civilization in the land. To the west are the Prytanian Kingdoms and Dumnonia, lands occupied by the descendants of the original Gwerryn tribes who occupied the island, driven to the edges of the land centuries ago by the invasion of the Ethellingar. To the north is the Giantwall, and beyond that, the wilds known as Alba.