Excerpt from Secrets of the Stonelayer: Theories and Legends Surrounding the Founding of Amalcross, by Lerman Garindis
It is common knowledge — in fact, almost required knowledge here in Almacross — that Cogidubnus was never married yet fathered many daughters. I have always found this odd. Why is it always said he fathered daughters and only daughters? Surely if he had so many children, there had to have been sons? This question led me into a thicket of research. I began by delving into ancient records of the city, specifically genealogies and family trees, many of which are kept under strict lock and key. To say that I had unprecedented access to the records of Amalcross’s most illustrious families would be an understatement. As expected, most bloodlines among the Hundred Houses in modern day Amalcross can trace some relation to Cogidubnus. What is interesting is these official records only date back to shortly after the founding of Amalcross. Are we truly to believe that there are no records, no extant family trees, from before the city’s founding, unless they intertwine with that of its founding king? Are we to believe that none of our civilization’s great families kept track of the gnarled branches of their lineages apart from his?
Nevertheless, the preeminence of Cogidubnus’s line among the Hundred Houses is common knowledge. After all, why would the records show anything prior to the founding of the city? Yet the history and records which discuss the time before the founding are so vague as to strain credulity. Indeed, they seem almost intentionally so. In search of clarity, I excavated further and sifted through anything even containing a footnote mentioning Cogidubnus and his offspring. This eventually led me to what are best described as legends and theories surrounding a secret son of our founder.
One of the most interesting and truly most plausible of these legends involves Cogidubnus making some sort of deal with an Uncanny being that inhabited these lands before settlers ever laid foot here. Cogidubnus and the other settlers found this land to be nothing like what they had hoped or expected it to be. According to some accounts, it was almost completely barren and harsh and overrun with beasts when they first arrived. Cogidubnus is said to have journeyed alone in search of something more, some region of plenty. He apparently returned from this journey changed, resolute and determined that he knew the way to make this land, the paradise they all had sought. When he ventured back to the center of this land, one individual followed, a chronicler whose name has long been lost to the sands of time. They wrote the following:
The land grew harsher the further in we traveled, though Cogidubnus did not know he was followed. He carried the bundle in his arms softly, cooing as if to comfort it. The faded and dying brown grass receded completely to show nothing more than slate and stone flatlands. Even the beasts dared not come this far. Though I was happy for the reprieve from snarling fangs and glowing eyes in the night, this land chilled me to the bone. Something was off here, but still I followed Cogidubnus carrying his small bundle.
Eventually, he came to a stop, and I tucked myself away behind a stone outcropping and watched him. He stood perfectly still next to a small stone spike that only reached up to his knee and held his squirming bundle out over it. A wind kicked up suddenly, and there stood a strange figure before Cogidubnus. It towered over even him but was spindly and lanky with pale golden skin. Its eyes were a vibrant green with no pupil, and it wrapped itself in robes of browning leaves. As strange as it appeared, it did not seem malevolent. It simply held its arms over the spike, and Cogidubnus gingerly placed the bundle in its outstretched arms. From where it had stood, green spread and grew, and before my very eyes the land changed into the paradise we had searched for.
The strangest part of this record is after this entry, the chronicler writes about being unaware of what Cogidubnus carried into the heart of this land. Prior entries talk about Cogidubnus and his family, but in later entries they write as if Cogidubnus did not have a family until his first daughter was born.
The existence of Uncanny beings in our world is no secret, and we are far from understanding everything there is to know about them. They are varied and strange, each seeming to operate according to their own rules.
To read the rest of my research on this subject, you must purchase my book: Secrets of the Stonelayer: Theories and Legends Surrounding the Founding of Amalcross, where the transcribed notes of the above mentioned pilgrim are included in their entirety. You should also be on the lookout for me at a companion event to the Conclave of Bards, where I will be speaking further on Cogidubnus and the creation of our city.