The Badenoch of Buchan

Rutven, a noble of growing legend and wealth had deserted his wife, land and inheritance and moved to a new city. He dyed his hair black and took up a band of cutthroats and brigands. He disrupted travel, abused the locals, and ransacked nearby settlements. One settlement, Buchan, possessed a beautiful cathedral, which he destroyed and rebuilt to his liking. Overseeing his growing empire, Rutven assumed the title of Badenoch or “Life-King” to show his power over his subjects. Notoriously foul tempered, the Life-King never suffered anyone outside of his men to be in his presence for more than a few minutes.

The villagers of Buchan always kept their eyes on the temple of the Badenoch as the marvelous glass windows showed much of what occurred inside. They would quickly scurry back to their houses and board their doors when the Badenoch of Buchan emerged. Visitors joked that the prey spent all their time tending the predator.

However, one night a thunderous knock on the cathedral door heralded a stranger seeking entrance. Through the windows villagers watched as the newcomer and the Badenoch of Buchan engaged in a game of Sava that went on for hours.

Finally, the stranger moved a piece, rose from the table and called “End Game”. Immediately the cathedral wavered as if it was made of water and the glass windows darkened. Unable to see inside and terrified of their lord’s wrath, the villagers fled back to their homes.

The next day the blackened, charred bodies of the Life-King’s men were found about the village. Rutven himself was discovered dead inside the banquet hall, his body unmarked though the nails in his boots had all been ripped out.



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