Legends of Arcur
Historical Figure: Ard-Righ Joddoc Wolfsmaw
The Beast of Greyfell
Eldest son of Righ Tirion Wolfsmaw of Greyfell, Joddoc’s early years were spent as most youths of Clan Wolfsmaw are – perfecting his skill in battle through constant practice against his peers. Joddoc quickly proved himself one of the strongest and most brutal warriors of his clan. Learning from a young age to deeply resent the Archmage’s Circle, he was among the first Utandi warriors to rally to Cadogan the Unyielding’s banner for independence. Now given the opportunity to show his worth to the other clans, Joddoc rose through the ranks of rebellion, his strength and ferocity earning him the name Joddoc the Beast.
In 91 AU, he stood beside his father and siblings at what would be one of the last battles of the rebellion – the Battle of Dawnshine. His father in command, 16,000 warriors mostly comprised of Clan Wolfsmaw laid siege to the large Callarean city. They managed to drive the defenders behind the walls, and their druids were slowly but determinedly dismantling the city’s magical wards. Just as Dawnshine’s defenses were about to break, however, the High Archmage Galathrazel teleported to the command tent. While Joddoc burst through the city’s main gate as the wards fell, His father and siblings were quickly butchered by the Archmage’s powerful spells. Though Joddoc had breached the city’s defenses, much of the army behind him broke and fled before the Archmage and his retinue. In the end, Joddoc was forced to reluctantly retreat. As Joddoc prepared his vengeance against Dawnshine, however, he learned that Cadogan had reached a peace settlement with Callarea. While Utand would have its independence, the war would end. Joddoc’s fury at the news was incredible, for most of his family would now go unavenged.
Now the Righ of clan Wolfsmaw, a bitter Joddoc appeared before the Granite Throne with the other Righs of the great clan before the newly crowned Cadogan Greatmane to receive his hold. To his fury, the Wolfsmaw Clan was given the smallest of the holds, even though that had sacrificed more warriors to the cause of Utand’s independence than the Goldbrow or Whitecrest. The young Righ seethed at this apparent injustice, and returned to Tirion’s Pass disillusionment with the man he once called hero.
Over the next 17 years, Joddoc consolidated his authority and rebuilt the greatness of Clan Wolfsmaw, swearing that if Greyfell was to be the smallest of the Holds it would at least be among the most formidable. Knowing that the borders of the Five Holds were written in the Granite Throne itself and enforced by the Druid’s Council – an authority even he would not dare trifle with – Joddoc instead focused on turning his Clan into the most important military force in Utand. Then, when he felt Cadogan had grown complacent with his throne, he traveled to Anabaias and challenged Cadogan for the Obsidian Crown. The duel was long and bloody, but in the end Joddoc proved the stronger, slaying Cadogan the Unyielding and claiming the Granite Throne.
Joddoc quickly went to work securing the borders of Utand. In later years, he would mostly be remembered as a bloodthirsty warmonger, but there were deeper actions that he took that have had a lasting positive effect on the country. It was he, not Cadogan as many believe, who established the Kingsguard, the army dedicated to the defense of Utand as a whole, forsaking allegiance to their parent Clan and giving themselves wholly to the country. Joddoc knew that many would villainize him for being the man who slew the country’s founder, but that hostility never seemed to bother him. To his way of thinking, he had ascended to his position in the traditional way, the way that the Highland clans had lived for centuries – that leadership goes to the strongest. While other Ard-Righs did more to secure Utand’s political stability, it was by the actions of Joddoc, fierce believer in Utand’s right to independence, that secured the country’s safety.
However, it cannot be said that Joddoc never went too far in his beliefs, and it is for this that he is often remembered so negatively now. In 127 AU, a ship from Orur sailed across the uncharted sea and landed in Utand. Joddoc, both angered that the Queen of Orur had not alerted him that she would be sending ships to his lands while not wanting to show weakness to another warrior based culture, took immediate and violent action. The crew of the ship was killed, and the ship itself was burned. Queen Nerissa of Orur was shocked by this action, and began construction of an invasion fleet in the Sanguine Sea, which made landfall in Westmark in 131.
Thrilled to be at war once again (The Druid’s Council had long ago warned him not to go to war with Callarea to avenge his family, which Joddoc bitterly heeded), Joddoc mobilized the Kingsguard to the country’s defense. This time, however, the warriors of Utand found themselves outmatched. The long spears of the Ururian Legions proved extremely effective against the cavalry-heavy Kingsguard, and the tight formations and rigid discipline of their batallions were devastating against the ruthless mobs that comprised their infantry. Utand had the numbers to push the war into a stalemate, but every time it seemed the army of Orur was about to be overwhelmed more reinforcements landed at the Orur-controlled ports in Eastmark. No other countries seemed willing to back either side, and the war was showing no sign of making progress.
Joddoc, however, flatly refused to negotiate in any way, seeing such a recourse as a show of cowardice which he would find anathema. He was utterly convinced that he would be able to defeat the invaders despite the fact that though neither side made much progress in terms of land, the Kingsguard was taking three times the casualties of their enemies.
And so it was that the reign of Joddoc Wolfsmaw came to its end. Knowing that he was likely the only regional Righ strong enough to take it, Aelbach Goldbrow of Highgreen made the journey to the Granite Throne in 137. Joddoc, now in his mid sixties, understood the reasons he had came and entered the circle of combat calmly and resolutely, likely knowing that the younger Righ would slay him. He gave a great showing, but eventually succumbed to Aelbach’s youth and prowess with the Druidic arts, dying a proud warrior’s death. Before the wounds from the battle were even healed, Aelbach invited the commander of the Orur legions to a parlay meeting, and found a diplomatic end to the conflict quickly and reasonably, ending the war.