Approximate time to read: 3 minutes.
In passing, for those that know of it, most would associate the term with the plain bands of iron that many members of the Iron Pact wear. It isn’t clear why some wear the rings while others carry four-leaf amulets of lacquered wood, brass or gold. Suffice to say that some difference does exist, but the elves have not willingly shared the basis for the differentiation.
Cynical naysayers of the Pact would suggest that the questionable alliance lost track of the original six-thousand rings referenced in the orders creation myth. Those that remain do so in the possession of the cult leaders, for the Pacts enemies see it as little more than a misguided sect. Any who join the order receives the leaf charm as a sign of their membership and acquires a ring only upon their transition to the inner circle.
That aside, Järnringen does not refer to those iron rings.
The Iron Ring I
The true crown of the line of King Ynedar lies somewhere in the heart of corruption. When the King died upon the fields of battle, his body crushed by the onslaught of the unnatural enemy, the crown – an artifact known as the Iron Ring – fell. In the heat of battle, the loyal forces of Alberetor leaderless, they fell back with his shattered body, but the crown remained.
When Korinthia took the throne, she did so without the true crown – and something didn’t sit well in that act. In the midst of war little celebration accompanied that coronation, but less still amidst those members of the Court who knew of the loss. Despite attempts to find the missing artifact none could retrieve it. When the Queen fell into enemy hands, the search continued with renewed vigor, both for Korinthia and the Iron Ring.
While the seekers found the Queen, they never found the crown – and whispers continue that in this loss something was lost for good. Whatever promise Ambria holds, without the crown all may be lost…
The Iron Ring II
Only a few people in Ambria knew of the existence of the Iron Ring. It isn’t some esoteric treasure of ages past or some obscure agreement with the fae, it’s a place. In the eastern climes of Alberetor, beyond the fertile fields and the Skein, lies a crown of mountains surrounding a crater a mile deep.
Scholars disagree on the origins of the crater, some suggesting a great upheaval from beneath, others a rain of unearthly fire from on high. Whatever the dim and distant cause, the crater remains as a scar on the landscape and hardly anything can grow there bar the hardiest weeds and the meanest scrub bush.
What does it matter?
Loremasters and seekers who journeyed to the location and crossed the cracked and perilous peaks around it found odd pearlescent rocks contain a dull silver ore. Difficult to extract and even harder to work with, rumour has it that the material formed the basis of the weapon that slew the Gray Lord. Something in the metal put a once and final end to the machinations of that evil entity, but could do nought to save the land poisoned by the its dark magic…
The Iron Ring III
The people of Ambria left the Iron Ring behind in Alberetor, though most wouldn’t know it. It is not a place or some royal treasure, but a secret sworn between a loyal few. Those who swear to uphold Järnringen have fought for their beliefs. They walked the battlefields of Alberetor in the dark years before the great exodus and they patrol it still, cloaked in both secrecy and anonymity.
The agents of Järnringen fought neither for nor against the Queen. They have chosen to ally themselves with a higher order that seeks to unravel a conspiracy of lies that has turned everything into a lie.
In Alberetor, they seek to cleanse the land of the vile corruption that soaks the soil and blackens the soul. In Ambria, they pass unnoticed amidst those who would conspire to further the lie.
Agents of the lie threaten the annihilation of the tenuous order wrought from the blood and sweat of the common Ambrian people.