The Horned King is a title claimed by the rulers of the united Mountain Clans of the Vale of Arryn. The title is not always hereditary - often passing from brother to brother, or not passing at all, depending upon the whims of the clans. Women can also hold this title, as among the clans all voices are equal. When Cheyenne, the Chieftain of the Painted Dogs, was given the title, she titled herself the Horned Queen, or the Queen of the Mountains of the Moon.
The first Horned King in recent memory is the legendary Dryn the Deathless, crowned sometime between 313AC and 317AC. Since him there has only been one other true Horned King, though several others have claimed the title.
King Dryn the Deathless Edit
The third son of Chella, Dryn the Deathless was considered the best of his brothers, and chosen by the Black Ears as their new clan chieftain upon his mother's death. At the time of his ascension he had more then twenty ears to his name - by his death, he was rumoured to boast well over a hundred.
King Agra the Feathered Edit
After the death of his younger brother Dryn in 317AC, Agra was named the new Chieftain of the Black Ears and Horned King of the Clans. There was some dissent upon his ascension, but his marriage to a woman of the Stone Crows and continued strong ties with the Moon Brothers cemented his position, and the clans backed him fully. By 317AC the only major clan still resisting the rule of the Horned King was the Burned Men, their reputation and fanatical fighting skill making them difficult to defeat, and their pride would not allow them to surrender.
On day in 318AC, Agra led a host of men into a valley claimed by the Burned Men. By all accounts he marched arrogantly - he had few scouts, and seemed confident in his approach. The air of the party was almost celebratory, Agra leading in song and passing out fermented drink at their noon-day stop. While the men of the Black Ears rested, the Burned Men fell upon them - cutting down the host and slaughtering all who resisted. Agra himself fled with a small contingent of men only to be riddled with arrows; they filled him so thickly and so thoroughly that he was called Agra the Feathered thereafter, after the density of the fletching that sprouted from his back.
Kings of the Black Years Edit
After the death of Agra, any remaining unity in the clans was lost. None of the other sons of Chella ever truly held the title of Horned King, though all three claimed it. These times are often known among the clans as the Black Years.
- Tholf Tooth-Taker - Tholf was the eldest son of Chella, and after the deaths of his brothers asserted that he ought rule because of his seniority. The clans recognize no such law, however, and so while some supported him, others defied his so-called authority. In the end he was murdered at a feast by supporters of his younger brother, Krugga.
- Krugga the Defiler - Krugga the Defiler was known for his depravity, relishing in the slaughter of men, women, and children, and rapacious in his hunger for food and flesh alike. Some favoured his methods, others abhored them - and his was the longest attempt for the Throne, lasting until 321AC. Krugga was slain leading an attack on a seemingly undefended party of Valemen, whose knights soon turned the tide on the Defiler and his raiders, slaying the would-be king on the slopes of his mountains.
- Dormund, Son of Chella - the youngest son of Chella, long considered either the wisest or the most cowardly. While early after his brother's deaths he attempted to press his claim upon the throne, he quickly realized that he would never boast the same authority Agra and Dryn both enjoyed. In the end he abandoned his cause, fleeing to live in peace among the Redsmiths. There he sired both sons and daughters, several one day returning to their ancestral clan of the Black Ears.
Modern Day Edit
Since 379 AC, the title has been adopted by a figure known as Cheyenne following her unification of the Clans. Little is known about her in the Lowlands, but those who survive her raids speak of a terrible cruelty, her cunning wit, and the scars that cover her body. Rumor among the smallfolk in the Vale has it she is even literate, and was raised among Andal nobility, but many dismiss these statements out of hand.