The Reign of the House of Henburshtam (16th-19th Centuries)
Because Windenburg was a peaceful land, the practice of exchange knights began during King Henburshtam the Second’s reign. The Loan of Learning (LOL) as it was known, was similar to high school or university exchange student programs today. It focused on the three Cs: Chivalry, Charming, and Cheese.
Not much has been written about this period because if was the “Golden Age of Art.” King Henburshtam the Second was Windenburg’s first Royal Patron of the Arts. He commissioned many works during his life, including the painting by the famous artist Rememberbrandt. Rememberbrant painted the portrait of the young king and his bride in a revolutionary new style called “Baroke,” so named because until King Henburshtam instituted the Patronage, artists were generally living on handouts. According to contemporary journals, the Queen was actually responsible for the King’s becoming a patron because she tired of seeing all the starving artists on street corners. However, after the King returned from his “vacation” with the made for another sitting with Remembrandt, Queen Henburshtam insisted he be given official credit.
During the reign of King Henburshtam the Fourth rose the greatest knight in all of history: Sir Lottalance. Handsome, brave, and clever, Sir Lottalance was a favorit of court. Many tapestries were woven recounting his valor. While most knights spent only a year abroad, Sir Lottalance traveled from realm to realm, learning and teaching the three Cs. During his exchange program in Yacothia, Sir Lottalance bravely fought against an invading troupe of giant sloths, barely escaping with his life. The other knights surrendered immediately, all the while bemoaning their fate caused by their wrongdoings. Lottalance returned, and after being nursed back to health by the lovely Lady Ravendancer, fell in love. (For more information on Lady Ravendancer, read Glimmerbrook: Just an Illusion? Available at Walrus Books & Gifts.) The couple were wed and embarked on a mission to convince the king and his court to fortify the eastern boundaries. Because of his foresight—which some say was bestowed upon him by Lady Ravendancer—King Henburshtam abandoned plans to build a summer home and used the funds to being a strong fortress instead. As King Henburshtam’s Most Trusted Knight of the Octagon Table, Lottalance used his influence to create a more secure, and thus even more prosperous, kingdom. The exchange knights’ program was canceled and all knights recalled to Windenburg. Knights who had studied in other realms returned home with knowledge and skills, allowing them to keep the Giant Sloths at bay for the next two centuries.
This knowledge has been passed down to present day in the Not-So-Secret Society of Knights of the Hedge. While no one other than the Knights is privy to this knowledge, speculations abound that it involves a fire dance.
Little is left of the third fortress as it was grown from hedgerows rather than stone and wood. As noted in Lady Ravendancer’s Book of Spells, the maze-like fortress was enchanted with glowing flame fruit she had propagated, thus tricking the nocturnal sloths into thinking Windenburg was enveloped in perpetual daylight. Two modern replicas of the maze have been grown; however, since flame fruit appears to be extinct, the mazes are artificially illuminated. Visitors are able to tour these life-sized replicas at the Von Windenburg Gardens on the Crumbling Isle and on the Von Haunt Estate in the Windslar Countryside.
Description: Two modern replicas of the maze have been grown, using modern illumination.