Haldric I (also known as Haldric the Great) was the founder and first monarch of Wesnoth. Having been born on the Green Isle to King Eldaric IV, ruler of Stormvale, he was forced to flee with his people when Lich-Lords built gateways between the Old Continent and the Green Isle, allowing orcs to invade. During their exodus south, Haldric was told of the Ruby of Fire, which he subsequently retrieved from within the catacombs beneath a temple. With the aid of Lady Jessene's translation, he was able to utilize the power of the Ruby of Fire a few months after reaching Southbay. Before Haldric managed to depart, however, he attracted the attention of the Lich-Lord Jevyan, who desired the Ruby of Fire for himself. Eventually, he set sail with his men to the east.
Upon landing at the Great Continent, negotiating with the Council of Lords, and completing four dangerous quests, Haldric and his refugees were permitted to settle in the plains to the north of the Great River, and the plains and hills to the south thereof. The elves also established a 'Pact of Mutual Aid', but upon realizing that the orcs had followed Haldric to the Great Continent, they secretly agreed with each other to break the pact should the humans attract more foes. Haldric hastened west to repel the orcs, meanwhile asking Jessene to hide the Ruby of Fire in the hopes of tricking Jevyan into believing he had traded it with the elves. Commander Aethyr agreed to plant a fake treaty on his body, stating as such. In a final confrontation, Aethyr was killed by Jevyan, according to plan, before Haldric's forces finally destroyed Jevyan, who managed to plant a curse upon Haldric and his people before dying.
Haldric founded the nation of Wesnoth as its king, and decided to marry Jessene, who resultantly becomes Wesnoth's queen. Haldric went on to break his pact with the elves, and was negatively affected by the Ruby of Fire, causing him to become highly covetous of the stone. Haldric had multiple children and was eventually succeeded by his son, Haldric II.
Prince of Stormvale
|Look, a little princeling and his merry men! We’ll teach you a lesson for what your kind did to us!|
|—Lady Jessene taunts a young Prince Haldric.|
Haldric was the firstborn son of King Eldaric IV, who ruled over the Kingdom of Stormvale. During a summer after Haldric's coming of age, Stormvale's Northern Keep was seized by a group of Wesfolk, led by a woman later revealed as Lady Jessene. Haldric requested the right to lead his men into battle against the Wesfolk, which was encouraged by his father, although Eldaric remained with Haldric to monitor the melee, suspecting something unusual about the attack. Haldric's men fought the Wesfolk, managing to secure victory before the summer harvest by capturing the Wesfolk leader. Upon interrogating her, she revealed that the Wesfolk were in fact fleeing because their Lich-Lord masters had summoned gateways, allowing orcs onto the Green Isle from the Old Continent. Initially, King Eldaric expressed disbelief at the existence of orcs, but let the Wesfolk leader leave in peace while King Eldaric set out to fortify their frontier.
Haldric remained at Stormvale until his father returned in the fall to reveal that one force of orcs had seized the Northern Keep, while another approached from the Broken Mountains to the northeast, leaving them with no choice but to retreat to the south. Complicating matters, the same Wesfolk as before had resettled in the southern pass, preventing an easy retreat. Once again, they captured the Wesfolk leader, and she once again plead for her life, offering her services.
|Plot branch : Haldric chose to spare the Wesfolk leader's life|
|Haldric decided to spare her life once more, provided that she would help their forces in the days ahead. She continued to conceal her identity, however, assuming the pseudonym 'Lady Outlaw'.|
|Plot branch : Haldric chose to execute the Wesfolk leader|
|Deciding that the Wesfolk had been too great a source of trouble, Haldric attempted to execute her, but she managed to escape by the means of a spell or trick, although in her haste, she left behind some gold.|
King Eldaric ordered Haldric to lead his people through the southern pass, staying behind to cover their retreat, despite Haldric's objections. This was the last Haldric ever saw of his father and Stormvale.
|The orcish vanguard must have flanked us even further to the east! They’re already holding the mouth of the pass. We have to get out of the mountain pass before winter comes or we’re all dead meat! Father, I wish you were here...|
|—Prince Haldric realizes the full extent of the orcish threat.|
During his flight through the southern pass, Haldric was cut off from the east by two orcish warlords, Tan-Schmog and Tan-NauVong, entrenching themselves in their fortifications. In the ensuing battle, Haldric's men discovered a nearby house where Burin the Lost, a dwarf, resided. Excited by the prospect of fighting orcs, Burin agreed to accompany Haldric south. Haldric's forces managed to fight to kill both of the orcish warlords before the first snowfall. Haldric resolved to continue southwards, either to reach the Kingdom of Southbay, or failing that, Clearwater Port.
|Plot branch : Haldric chose to travel southeast|
Faced with a choice between travelling southwest through the Midlands or southeast through the Swamp of Esten, Haldric chose the latter option, hoping thus to avoid the orcs, who would be unlikely to venture therein. After following the river road, Haldric's men arrived at the swamp, where a thick fog impaired their vision. In a nearby temple, they discovered Minister Edren, a mage holding out against the undead. With his help, they proceeded to clear the swamp of the three cultists there and the summoned undead forces before winter's arrival. Before they could proceed further south, they were intercepted by Sir Ruddry from Clearwater, who informed them that the road ahead was blocked by orcs. As a result, Haldric was forced to take a detour through the Oldwood Forest.
|Plot branch : Haldric chose to travel southwest|
|Faced with a choice between travelling southwest through the Midlands or southeast through the Swamp of Esten, Haldric chose the former option, despite being concerned at what its current state would be. Upon arrival, they saw that the Midlands had been sacked by an orcish horde led by three orcish warlords. Furious, Haldric and his men charged into battle, slaying each of the orcs' leaders before winter's arrival. Before they could proceed south towards Southbay, however, they were intercepted by Sir Ladoc, who informed them that the orcs now blocked the road towards Southbay, and that they would have to pass through the Oldwood Forest instead towards Clearwater Port.|
The Ruby of Fire
|The lich was carrying a powerful artifact. We know, we can feel it. This artifact may aid you in your quest.|
|—Elilmaldur-Rithrandil tells Prince Haldric of the Ruby of Fire.|
Haldric eventually reached Oldwood Forest, where they discovered a group of woses under siege from the orcs. The leader of the woses, Elilmaldur-Rithrandil, demanded that Haldric prove his non-aggression by helping the woses kill the surrounding orcish chieftains, Tan-Gralg and Tan-Rugar. Afterwards, Haldric inquired as to whether Elilmaldur-Rithrandil could help fight the orcs, who instead offered Haldric the opportunity to seize the Ruby of Fire, sealed underground with a Lich-Lord some time prior. Haldric accepted the wose's offer, who then opened the catacombs beneath the nearby temple for Haldric's men to enter.
Upon descending into the catacombs, Haldric heard the voice of Lich-Lord Lenvan proclaiming his intentions to return to the surface. Each time Lenvan's undead forces killed one of Haldric's men, the soldier's corpse was reincarnated to fight for Lenvan. After a fierce onslaught, however, Haldric managed to slay Lenvan. Haldric also discovered a chest containing the Ruby of Fire, expressing surprise that Lenvan had not kept in on his person. Still unsure regarding its properties, Haldric placed it in his pack, before leading his men back out of the catacombs to the surface.
When Haldric emerged victorious from the temple catacombs, he was welcomed by Elilmaldur-Rithrandil, who expressed his happiness at Haldric's success. Before Haldric can decide on his next course of action, however, he is approached by the Wesfolk leader, who informed him that the orcs now occupied the plains between Oldwood Forest and Southbay. She had also scouted the road to Clearwater Port, which was free of orcs, due to the Swamp of Esten slowing their advances. Due to Haldric's reluctance to proceed with her help, she revealed her true identity, 'Lady Jessene', and how similar their circumstances were. Convinced by her words, Haldric decided to continue their march east towards Clearwater Port.
Though the orcs continued their pursuit, Haldric eventually arived at Clearwater Port during the onset of winter, alarmed to discover that there were no ships docked at the shore. Commander Aethyr informed him that the King of Clearwater and the bulk of his fighting men had perished in an attempt to drive back the orcs, leaving the survivors until the ice set to evacuate the city on three separate ships. Though orcs attacked on three fronts, Haldric successfully held out long enough to board a ship with his men and set sail, though Aethyr remained behind, intending to fight to the death. On the advice of Lady Jessene, Haldric set sail not for Southbay, but instead for Fallen Lich Point to claim the Book of Fire and Darkness, a study of the Ruby of Fire, then to navigate to Southbay through a nearby sewer.
Haldric sailed along the southern shoreline until he reached Fallen Lich Point, where two orcish chieftains, Tan-Pulk and Ut'Tan-Grilg, were garrisoned. Amidst the ensuing battle, Haldric's forces discovered a monolith near the entrance of the Lich-Lord Caror's castle which kept Caror bound in stone, along with the Book of Fire and Darkness. Haldric uttered the inscribed incantation, thereby releasing Caror, who immediately sensed the Ruby of Fire. Upon killing Caror, Haldric's forces hastened northwards with the book and managed to enter the sewers, despite the orcs guarding the entrance.
As the refugees made their way into the sewers, they met banished twin Magi, Tinry the Red and Daellyn the Red, who were both able to sense the Ruby of Fire's presence. Haldric and his troops fought off bats, scorpions and subservient red magi until they reached the sewer exit on the other side, leading to the heart of Southbay.
Leaving the Green Isle
|These are dark days to live through, my young prince. You’ve done your father proud. Far better than my legacy, a dead adventurer and a missing fool! It is fitting that my line should end with my kingdom.|
|—King Addroran IX praises Prince Haldric while bemoaning his own failures.|
Haldric emerged from the sewer and sought an audience with the King of Southbay, King Addroran IX. Upon hearing that Haldric would fight to defend Southbay, he praised both Haldric's honour, stating he would have made Eldaric proud. When Addroran saw Jessene, realizing she was one of the Wesfolk, he was initially hostile, but Haldric persuaded him that the Wesfolk had been of service. Jessene revealed that she knew the naval course to reach the Great Continent, pleading with Addroran to take his people and go with Haldric, but Addroran refused to go himself, stating that it was for Haldric to establish the new country. They resolved to remain in Southbay for the winter to replenish their supplies.
In the months that passed, Jessene translated the Book of Fire and Darkness, allowing Haldric to experiment with the Ruby's powers, particularly to conjure fireballs against his foes. While the ships were still being prepared to leave, a large number of orcs arrived at Southbay, preparing to lay siege. As night fell on the battlefield, the Lich-Lord Jevyan emerged with his familiar and the reanimated corpse of the second Crown Prince of Southbay, Addroran's son. Jevyan was able to sense the power of the Ruby of Fire, and left a number of undead to aid the orcs in their siege. That night, Lord Typhon, a merman, came with reinforcements, agreeing to help defend Southbay for a price. With Typhon's mermen at his disposal, Haldric defeated the orcs and undead, including the second Crown Prince. Haldric agreed to return to Southbay to rescue survivors if possible, then set sail with the refugees to the east, dubbing his ship the Eldaric, after his deceased father.
After a long time at sea, Haldric laid anchor at the port of the northernmost island of Morogor, known by Jessene to have been inhabited by drakes. Indeed, though the drakes had once been pacified, they had since reestablished their dominion over the island. Despite Haldric's offers of peace, the drakes were suspicious and attacked the refugees. The drake leaders were eventually slain, the remaining drakes withdrawing. Haldric was able to re-provision the ships in peace. Yet unbeknownst to him, Haldric was being followed by the familiar of Jevyan.
After replenishing their supplies, Haldric continued east towards the Great Continent, but encountered particularly severe weather, causing the Eldaric to take on water, while most of the other ships had been separated. Typhon guided them to a small archipelago to regroup, warning them that nagas controlled the area. Nevertheless, Haldric managed to kill enough nagas to regroup all his ships, even resisting the colossal sea serpents that lurked in the waters. Once again, Jevyan's familiar spied upon their efforts, this time being spotted by Jessene.
The four quests
|Well then, human. Each of us lords has a specific quest for you. If you complete them all you will be granted all of the plains in our domain and the hills south of the Great River, if not you will be forced to depart.|
|—Lord Aryad negotiates with Prince Haldric.|
The ships faced milder weather during the remaining week at sea, and eventually made landfall at the Bay of Pearls on the western coast of the Great Continent in the summer. Immediately, Haldric found he had disturbed a conflict between an elvish outpost and some mercantile dwarves, who both agreed to ally themselves against the refugees, believing them an invasion. Haldric's attempts at diplomacy fell upon deaf ears, and the two sides quickly engaged in battle. Just as the first warrior died, however, yet another elf, Lady Dionli, arrived and demanded an explanation for the events. Haldric and his close advisors advisers were instructed to accompany Dionli to the Council of Elven Lords, while the remaining refugees disembarked. Before departing with the elves, Haldric secretly ordered one third of their ships to return to the Green Isle to search for survivors. Once again, Jevyan's familiar watched from a distance, but only the humans noticed. Lord Typhon departed, leaving behind only the mermen who had already aided Haldric in combat.
Dionli brought Haldric before the Council of Elven Lords, also known as the Ka'lian, situated in the Grey Woods. Haldric requested that his people be allowed to settle in the land between the elven forests and dwarven mountains. The Council concluded that such a concession would only be made if Haldric completed a quest from each of the four lords. Lord Logalmier requested that Haldric slay the dragon of the Green Swamp, along with its saurian minions. Dionli requested that Haldric halt the operations of a group of coastal metal-trading saurians. Lord Aryad requested that travel to the Brown Hills to eradicate the inhabitant trolls. Finally, Lord El'Isomithir requested that Haldric travel to the Isle of Tears to end the curse upon the elves that once lived there.
|The order of the following events is contingent on in-game decisions.|
|Haldric killed the Dragon|
|Haldric travelled to the Green Swamp, wherein he found a small island, speculating that the dragon lived in the mountain thereupon. Surrounding the mountain were scores of saurians, as well as a number of bats and mudcrawlers. As Haldric engaged in battle, the dragon, Shek'kahan, emerged from the mountain and attacked Haldric's men. Eventually, Haldric managed to slay Shek'kahan and steal his gold, before returning to the Ka'lian, where Logalmier remarked how impressed he was.|
|Haldric drove away the metal-trading saurians|
|Haldric travelled northwest to the beach where the saurian traders were at work. Upon seeing the advancing humans, the saurians prepared themselves to hold the beach until their naga reinforcements arrived, sending mudcrawlers and scorpions against Haldric. As Haldric's forces pushed closer to the saurians' base of operations, a band of nagas came to the aid of the saurians, hoping to protect their trading partnership. Nevertheless, Haldric cleared the beach of enemies, before returning with his men to the Ka’lian.|
|Haldric eradicated the trolls|
|An elven guide led Haldric's men to the entrance to the cave of trolls. Within the cave, Haldric encountered a large number of trolls, as well as giant spiders. Haldric managed to kill each of the four troll warriors occupying the caves, before ascending to the surface and returning to the Ka’lian.|
|Haldric ended the curse upon the Isle of Tears|
|Haldric returned with his men to their original landing point, from which they sailed to the Isle of Tears, covered in a thick fog. Haldric and some of his men landed on the island, organizing to be picked up once they had finished clearing the island. They fought against various undead forces, eventually managing to purge them from the island, although Haldric was cursed in the process.[b] Having purged the undead from the island, they set sail once more and returned to the Ka’lian.|
Having completed each of the four quests, the Ka’lian honoured their word by granting Haldric the plains to the north of the Great River, and the plains and hills to the south of the Great River. Logalmier warned Haldric to take care of the land, and also to be of aid to the elves in return for their generosity. Haldric agreed to these terms, but before the meeting could conclude, Aethyr unexpectedly appeared before the council, cryptically informing Haldric that some "old friends" had arrived. Understanding this to mean the orcs had followed them to the Great Continent, Haldric hurried away, while Jessene pretended to leave, yet remained behind to spy upon the elves.
|I am fallen before my plans have reached fruition. A curse upon you Haldric, may you and your descendants know nothing but strife!|
|—The Lich-Lord Jevyan places a curse upon Prince Haldric before dying.|
Haldric hastened west to meet a large contingent of orcs steadily advancing. Before engaging in battle, Jessene returned to inform Haldric that the orcs needed to be decisively repelled, otherwise the elves would break their pact and refuse aid, or even become hostile to the humans should they survive the orcish onslaught. She also told him that the familiar which had been following them could sense the Ruby of Fire, and that it was Jevyan who was sending the orcish hordes to the Great Continent. Thinking quickly, Haldric commanded Jessene to hide the Ruby of Fire in the cave they had purged in the Brown Hills. Learning that the orcs were comandeering their own ships from the Green Isle, and not the ships he'd had sent back, Haldric realized they had to fight their way to the beach before orcs got there. They engaged in a battle with the orcs, whose undead reinforcements confirmed Jessene's theory about Jevyan. Eventually, Haldric emerged victorious, and quickly proceeded further west.
Finally reaching the beach, Haldric could see a handful of ships were well protected by orcs and undead, while other ships remained at sea, waiting for the shoreline to be cleared. As the fighting commenced, Jevyan appeared, confused that he could no longer sense the Ruby of Fire, but still persuaded that Haldric had it on his person. He cast a curse of darkness over the battlefield before leaving. Despite this handicap, as well as the saurians who emerged seeking revenge, Jessene rejoined Haldric's forces and together cleared the shoreline. The remaining ships at sea docked while Haldric took Jessene aside to discuss his plans.
A short distance south of the beach, Haldric spoke of his plan into deceiving Jevyan, and thus all the Lich-Lords seeking the Ruby of Fire, that the Ruby had been exchanged with the elves in return for the land, thus diverting the enemies' attention. Despite this, he did not rule out coming to the aid of the elves if convenient or necessary, although he could not guarantee it. When Jessene asked how it will be seen by others if he broke the pact, he responded that it didn't matter, as he expected to die at Jevyan's hand with a forged treaty, describing the fictitious exchange. Subsequently, Jevyan would be killed, but enough orcs would bear the news back to the other Lich-Lords. It was only Aethyr, who had been eavesdropping, who persuaded Haldric not to go through with the plan, volunteering his own life in Haldric's place.
Aethyr was given the forged treaty, and Haldric led his soldiers further south towards Jevyan's landing point. Haldric confronted Jevyan, attempting to deceive him, although Jevyan was unpersuaded. Haldric entered battle with his forces, and Jevyan managed to kill Aethyr, Haldric's ploy succeeding. In a final push, Haldric's forces destroyed three of the four orcish chieftains, and Jevyan himself, who placed a curse upon Haldric with his dying words.[b] The remaining orcish chieftain, seeing no further point in fighting, fled on a nearby ship back to the Green Isle. With the battle won, Haldric brought his closest allies a short distance north with him to bury Aethyr's body.
Haldric had his friends make a vow of silence before confessing the trick he had played upon the elves. Despite this, he told them his intention to help the elves repel the remaining orcs to maintain diplomatic relations. Realizing for the first time that he was, in essence, now a king, he named his new territory "Wesnoth". Haldric then proposed to Jessene, stating it was important for the unification of their two races.
|The truth is that the Ruby is warping Haldric’s mind, making him ever more surly and suspicious of those he once counted allies.|
|—Crelanu reveals the effect of the Ruby of Fire on Haldric I.|
Now the first King of Wesnoth, Haldric became known as Haldric I and Haldric the Great. With his new wife, Queen Jessene, Haldric I was to have multiple children, including Haldric II. Their marriage proved highly influential, and as a result, many interracial marriages took place. As King of Wesnoth, Haldric began his reign by helping the elves to crush orcs still on the Great Continent. He also forbade the practice of necromancy.
Although Jessene had hidden the Ruby of Fire inside the cave, Haldric later reclaimed it. With time, Haldric fell under the stone's influence, and it caused him to become suspicious, even of his closest friends. Each time Haldric came near the Ruby of Fire, his nature would slowly become more tyrannical. Eventually, he became highly mistrustful of his friend, Crelanu, and banished him from Wesnoth.
More orcs sailed to the Great Continent some years after the founding of Wesnoth, particularly to its northern regions. They attacked the elves in the futile hope of finding the Ruby of Fire, although their initial advances were repelled. Though the elves sent to Haldric for help, he broke the pact, refusing to come to their aid. In the following years, the elvish emissaries to Wesnoth were turned away. As the orcs failed to take Wesmere Forest, they began to suspect that Haldric still, in fact, had the Ruby of Fire.
As Haldric grew older, he paid less and less attention to Wesnoth's military. In 20YW, Haldric eventually passed away, and was succeeded by his son, Haldric II. After his death, Haldric was the object of scorn in ballads for his betrayal of the elves, and few ever discovered the reason he was forced to break the pact.
|I knew you as a boy, and your people have preceded you. Your father was an honorable man, and so are you.|
|—King Addroran IX remarks on Prince Haldric's similarity to his father.|
In the years before the Ruby of Fire altered his mind, Haldric was brave and selfless, prepared even to die if it benefited his people. For instance, when Haldric arrived at Clearwater Port, he took responsibility for defending the evacuees against a large force of orcs, remaining there for as long as he could spare. King Addroran described Haldric as honorable, seeing how far Haldric had come with so many refugees. He was undaunted by fearsome circumstances, such as being tasked with slaying Shek'kahan.
On the other hand, Haldric was a man of hubris, and did not take well to personal insult. For example, when he engaged with the saurian metal-traders, they called his forces "monsters", causing him to threaten them all with death. When fighting Shek'kahan, his thoughts lingered on the name and honour he would received. Haldric even becomes temporarily mad with Aethyr when he pleads with Haldric to let him bear the fake treaty instead, considering it his personal sacrifice to make.
After falling under the influence of the Ruby of Fire in his last days, Haldric became surly and suspicious, afraid that his friends may wish to take the stone for themselves. His son, Haldric II, described him as having become strange during this time, and did not understand his father's behaviour.
- ^ "Dragonbane" is a title Haldric considered for himself when attacking Shek'kahan, although Jessene refused to use it.
- ^ a b It is unclear as to whether these curses had any effect on Haldrid.
- A Summer of Storms, The Rise of Wesnoth
- The Fall, The Rise of Wesnoth
- A Harrowing Escape, The Rise of Wesnoth
- The Swamp of Esten, The Rise of Wesnoth
- The Midlands, The Rise of Wesnoth
- The Oldwood, The Rise of Wesnoth
- Temple in the Deep, The Rise of Wesnoth
- Return to Oldwood, The Rise of Wesnoth
- Clearwater Port, The Rise of Wesnoth
- Fallen Lich Point, The Rise of Wesnoth
- Sewer of Southbay, The Rise of Wesnoth
- Southbay in Winter, The Rise of Wesnoth
- A Final Spring, The Rise of Wesnoth
- Peoples in Decline, The Rise of Wesnoth
- Rough Landing, The Rise of Wesnoth
- A New Land, The Rise of Wesnoth
- The Ka'lian, The Rise of Wesnoth
- The Dragon, The Rise of Wesnoth
- Lizard Beach, The Rise of Wesnoth
- Troll Hole, The Rise of Wesnoth
- Cursed Isle, The Rise of Wesnoth
- The Vanguard, The Rise of Wesnoth
- Return of the Fleet, The Rise of Wesnoth
- The Plan, The Rise of Wesnoth
- The Rise of Wesnoth, The Rise of Wesnoth
- Epilogue, The Rise of Wesnoth
- A Bargain is Struck, Scepter of Fire
- Slipping Away, Secrets of the Ancients
- Revelations, Legend of Wesmere
- Defend the Forest, An Orcish Incursion
- Council of Hard Choices, Legend of Wesmere
- The Treaty, Legend of Wesmere
- News from the Front, Legend of Wesmere
|Establishment of Wesnoth|| King of Wesnoth
|The Rise of Wesnoth|