This is a pic I created over the last couple of months based on an old comic I did many years ago called 'The Legend of Whiteflame', which is like Redwall if it was more like Lord of the Rings or Warcraft. After playing Zelda: Breath of the Wild I was inspired to do a reinvention of the story with this picture expanding it's world, the characters and the story itself, borrowing many ideas from British & Arthurian mythology and from other fantasy games & stories as well.
The Realms of Animalbion is like if Zootopia was set in a place that resembles Celtic Britain where magic existed with tales of Heroes and Villians fought in great battles and tales of Adventure and encounters with monsters are told. The Beasts of Animalbion have their own domains such as the Canid Realms of the Dogs and Foxes to the South, The Hedgehogs of the West and the Lagamorphs (Rabbits & Hares) of the North as well as many other races.
Prologue ( A Brief history of Animalbion)
Long ago these Beasts never got on with each other and declared war on their lands for dominance & supremacy due to bitter hatred and fear. The oldest of which were between the Dogs of the Canid Realms and the fair race of the Felines ( The Animalbion equivalent of Elves). They envied the Felines due to them using their nine lives to cheat death and achieving long lives (some of which can live to over a thousand years). What brought these conflicts to an end was by a young Lion named Arthur Pendragon. He was chosen by the sacred blade Excalibur to lead and unite the Beasts under one banner. With the guidance of the wolf Merlin, who was known as the most powerful sorcerer of the arcane arts and ancient magic. Arthur founded the kingdom of Camelot and became the High King of all Animalbion. To serve and protect the kingdom with this new alliance a Beast of each race was made to represent their kingdom and became a knight of the Order of the Round Table.
For a Time, Arthur and his knights brought peace and prosperity to the land, but it was not to last. Arthur had a Half-Sister, a Lioness named Morgana le Fay who was a powerful Sorceress who studied forbidden dark and demonic magic and declared herself to be the rightful ruler of Camelot. In Arthur's final years his kingdom gradually fell apart. He caught his wife Guinevere, A Squirrel cheating on him with Lancelot, a Hedgehog ( not the Sonic version but mainly inspired by it). Both of them were sent into Exile. Then he found out that he had a bastard son with Morgana called Mordred who grew up into a great Warlord that can use demonic powers in preparation to declare War on his father and seize the throne from him.
In what was known as the greatest battle of Animalbion's History, Arthur called all remaining knights and all the free Beasts into one great Alliance to challenge Morgana & Mordred's forces at the Fields of Camlann. From the lowliest Mouse to the Avian of the sky, all stood with Arthur on his final Stand. Lancelot came back to assist his King one last time, but was slain by Mordred.
Whilst it was a mighty battle, the free beasts have won, but it came at a cost. Whilst Morgana & Mordred were slain in battle, Mordred dealt Arthur a deadly blow which Merlin's magic cannot heal. But in his final moments, Arthur gave Excalibur to Bedevere, a Badger and told him to return it to an aquatic being known as the Lady of the Lake who was it's swords keeper. Although his Heir is no more, he decides to leave the kingdom of Animalbion to his knights and they are to rule it with the same kindness he gave to Camelot and it’s people and they must all unite once more should the lands be threatened again.
It is said that Arthur's body was sent to a secret place no person can find called Avalon where he sleeps till the land is threatened once more. A Statue was made to stand on Camlann to mark his Final Stand and to bring courage and hope in the hearts of all beasts as the 'Once & Future king'.
Chapter 1: The Invasion of the Dragon Men.
200 years has passed since Arthur's death and the end of the golden age of Camelot. Even though the realms of Animalbion are ruled by the descendants of the knights of Camelot, old hatreds begin to reform. Alliances were broken and without a person to lead them, the kingdom became fractured due to war and mistrust. Some have secluded away from the affairs of the beasts such as the Atlanteans of the sea and the Avians of the sky kingdom of Aquila. The Hedgehogs of the Western Shore and the Emerald Isle became enemies. Even the Dogs and the Felines have broken their old friendship. The Lagamorphs have also built a wall to keep the beasts of the south out of their realm.
This broken kingdom gave way for beasts from foreign shores to invade and conquer it. One such force was the Barbaric and monstrous Dragon Men. Marauders with scales as tough as steel and flames from their tongues to burn and scorch the land. They were led by their ruthless Warlord known as Dragor. They came in their ships, burned many villages to the ground and slaughtered and enslaved it's people.
The King of the Fox Kingdom tries to ask the king of the Canid kingom for reinforcements as he has barely enough to defend his kingdom but has refused. He calls for his champion, a knight errant named Lucarian to gather as many forces as he can for if Dragor takes the Fox Kingdom he would have a strong enough foothold to take the Canid realms and successfully Conquer and enslave the whole of AnimalBion. The King knows that Dragor has taken Morgana's old fortress of Talag Naur as his base of operations to forge weapons & armour of War and has formed alliances with many of the Free Beasts old enemies, such as the Skaven (Rats), the Wild Wolves, Grizzly hill and cave Bears ( The Animalbion equivalent of Trolls) and the sworn enemy of the Foxes, the Fowl Horde! ( Think Orc mixed with Poultry with jagged beaks) Dragor sent them with his forces to attack the isolated beast realms and he himself will send his main force across Camlann to get to the Fox Kingdom's main city of Cair Paravos. Lucarian must make his stand at Camlann with what forces he can muster.
Part 2: The Blade of the Mountain.
Lucarian knows that with the forces that he has, this is a battle he cannot win. The Army that Dragor will send is said to be nearly twenty thousand, whist the Foxes that the king gave him as well as a few noble houses are only that of a few thousand strong. The Equines have given them enough Horses for Calvary, and although the Canids cannot give them any of their men, only one house answered their call..House Stabbyback. A Canid House notoriously known for Betrayal and Treason. Their ancestors have known to have sided with Morgana during Arthur's reign and their banner depicting a cat being horribly skinned & Mutilated should have sent up some red flags. Lord Stabbyback assured that they are no longer the traitors their house were known for and offers his army and help from his son Ruff Stabbyback ( A Bastard) to assist the Foxes. Lucarian is aware of the house's history and doesn't trust Lord Stabbyback one bit, thus sending him away. This ended with The Stabbybacks offering their services to Dragor revealing tactical plans of the Canids to him. They are to lead an army of Dragon Men into the Dogs’ kingdom in order to take it. Afterwards Ruff murders his Father and declares himself the new Lord of House Stabbyback to help the Dragon Men.
Feeling Hopeless, Lucarian leaves his camp to think. He meets an old Hermit resembling a hooded Wolf who takes him to a campfire and offers him a seat. He tells Lucarian that the people of Animalbion needs a champion to aid them and that it is up to him to unite the Beast kingdoms against the armies of the Dragon Men. Lucarian believes this is impossible as he is not a king like his hero, Arthur who grew up on stories about him told by his father as a child. The old Wolf tells him it is not because of Arthur’s status as a king or his words of diplomacy that brought the beasts together, it was because he had a symbol that they all rallied behind: The sword Excalibur which had the power to smite the powers of darkness and inspired hope and courage in the hearts of all beasts lifting their spirits. Whilst Excalibur is lost in an unknown Lake, the Old Wolf tells Lucarian that there is another sword that can help him, an enchanted blade of fire that does not burn or destroy like the breath of the Dragon Men, but kindle the fire in the hearts of beasts, and provide a beacon in the darkness to which all the free animals can rally behind.
This Sword however lies in the tallest mountain of a mountain range that is in view of them. It is a treacherous journey but Lucarian must take it in order to find this one hope in beating Dragor. Leaving the Fox army in the charge of his General, Lucarian journeys to the perilous Mountain which there were many dangers such as snowstorms, deep chasms, avalanches and various Fowl Horde patrols. After nearly freezing to death, Lucarian made it to the top of the mountain and finds what looks like an ancient Badger stronghold. It turns out to be a Badger tomb filled with treasure and gold from the mountain’s excavations and the bodies of Badgers in their crypts. In the centre of a large room sitting on a throne, Lucarian finds a skeletal Badger Lord cradling a Sword which on closer inspection shone and glowed fiery red like the morning sun and etched on it’s blade in Badger runes was the sword’s name: Whiteflame.
But when Lucarian took the blade, the Badger Lord sprung to life as well as the other rotting corpses of Badger soldiers nearby. Lucarian knew they must have been cursed and been turned into undead Draugr. The undead Badger Lord tells him that he will not leave the mountain alive.
Although there were many Badger Draugr, Lucarian used Whiteflame against them which gave him the strength & skills of an expert swordsman and smiting them one by one in a burst of light. When the Badger Lord approached the Fox knight, he surrendered saying that the sword has chosen Lucarian to be it’s wielder.
The Badger Lord reveals that he is actually Sir Bedevere, the knight who returned Excalibur to the lake. He said that he was reluctant to return the sword and wanted to claim it as his own. The Lady of the Lake, the sword’s keeper that in exchange for returning the sword she will tell him the secrets of forging a sword like Excalibur for his own on the condition that he must use it to aid and help the Beasts of Animalbion and must not be used for his own purposes of conquest and power.
Bedevere used the most skilled Badger smiths, the most powerful wizards he can find and used the most rarest and unknown metals in the land to forge the blade. It is said that he used the fire of an ancient Dragon which unlike the Dragon men are the most rarest beasts of Animalbion and know the most ancient of magic to enchant the blade into Whiteflame. He then lead an army of Badgers into a mountain that was taken by a powerful Necromancer and fought back and drove off the undead armies. The Mountain contained untold amounts of Treasure which Bedevere used to form his own Mountain kingdom. However he used the sword for his own selfish gain so the Lady of the Lake cursed him where he and his people will never rest in death until a Chosen Hero can come to claim the sword.
With Lucarian being the Chosen Hero, he must use Whiteflame for good and unite the Beasts of Animalbion. Lucarian promises to keep true to his word and with that, the spirits of Bedevere and his soldiers can move on. After escaping the Tomb which nearly collapsed on him. Lucarian begins his journey to fight back against the Dragon Men.
Part 3: The War against the Dragon Men</b>
Lucarian travels the various regions of Animalbion, Helping the Hedgehogs defend their capital City of Minas Ericius with Whiteflame against the Dragon Men and persuading them to unite the west and to aid the Foxes at Camlamn. Even the Avians of the sky who wanted no part of the wars of the land-dwellers knew the Dragon men will eventually come for them. They saw Lucarian’s potential and he had them agree to help them when they can. Soon stories spread far and wide about a Fox with a mighty blade of Fire defeating the Dragon men at every turn and it made them think that he could be Arthur reincarnated or the return of the Foxes’ Patron Hero and Representive of the Round Table Sir Gawain. It inspired them to take up arms, put aside old differences and stand together against the Dragon Men threat. Even the king of the Dog Kingdom of the Canid realms decided to light the beacons and call for aid and forgiveness from one of their old allies the Felines lead by lady Percival ( Not like Blaze but more like a Kha’jit resembling a housecat here) the last surviving knight of the Round Table.
The Dragon Men tried to assault the Badger Capital stronghold of Lizalstron only to find that all the Badger Clans have banded together and they are known to be one of the most toughest races in the land.
The Lagamorphs, known as the Children of El-Elhrairah defended their wall as best they could knowing they have their god Frith to give them courage. However their defenses fell and retreated over a bridge, and as the Dragon Men were closing in on them, they were suddenly attacked by Avians that came out of the sky. It is said that as thanks for the Avians assisting them, they have allowed the Kingdom of the North to be used freely for both Hare and Bird alike, and for many other races.
The army of Dragon Men that were assisted by the Canid traitors House Stabbyback marched into the Canid kingdom to crush the forces there in order to attack the Foxes from the rear. What they didn’t expect however was the army of skilled Feline Warriors backing them up and turning the tide. The Skaven that were enemies of the Canids turned and fled and the Soldiers that served House Stabbyback surrended knowing that they should not have betrayed their brothers. As the Dragon Men were defeated by the reformed Dog/Cat Alliance, The mad Ruff Stabbyback tries to kill the Canid king with an arrow but Percival takes the shot using up one of her lives. She then kills Ruff with her claws putting an end to a murderous and treacherous house for good.
As the day where Dragor leads his army across Camlann draws near, the princess of the Fox Kingdom Vixanna who is Lucarian’s wife brings him the tabard and armour of Sir Gawain, repaired and restored in order to give hope to the Fox soldiers and it will make it seem that Gawain is fighting alongside with them in battle.
On the day of Battle, Dragor tells Lucarian that there is no hope in this battle and they should lay down their arms and surrender. Lucarian, standing on Horseback with his mounted Fox army on top of a Hill, shows the warlord Whiteflame, which Dragor scoffed at, saying that such a pathetic weapon will not help him. But Lucarian does not listen. Rallying the army, he leads the army charging down the hill across the field where Arthur fought his last stand centuries ago. Not even the archers could stop them as although many fell to their arrows the front lines were broken as if the Foxes had strength they never had before.
Lucarian slew one Dragon Soldier after another parrying each attack and can use Whiteflame to repel their fire. But it was not enough, The Dragon Men were too large in number and he sees many Foxes cut down before him, but it was not in vain for the Hedgehogs of the West arrive to aid them, charging down the hill in balls of spikes that are so sharp they can impale an enemy.
But the Dragon men had also a trick up their sleeve. They have Created creatures mixed with both Bear and Dragon that gives them hardened scales and can breath fire. These Monstrous Dragon Bears can slay many Foxes and Hedgehogs with ease but they are still able to prevail with their newfound hope.
Then Dragor entered the Fray. With his two swords and his wings he was like a demonic creature cutting up the Fox & Hedgehog armies like wheat in a field, and burning them alive with fire that turned them to ashes instantly. Then Lucarian approached him and that they must now fight to determine the fate of Animalbion. To ensure that no one interferes, Dragor creates a ring of fire around them. The fight was hot and fierce with Whiteflame clashing against Dragor’s swords. Dragor was tough and extremely fast but Lucarian managed to deflect his blows and his fire as best he could. But in the end, Dragor skewered Lucarian through with both his swords. All was lost and the Dragon Men were Victorious. Dragor had Lucarian to kneel before him so that he can have a merciful death. But as he raised his sword to execute him, something unexpected happened. Whiteflame’s Blade turned into a plume of fire and obliterated Dragor’s sword! Dragor used his other sword and that got destroyed as well, he then took one look at Lucarian and showed fear for the first time for flames appeared in the Fox’s eyes and he began to stand up. He breathed hellfire on Lucarian but he wasn’t the slighted bit burned. He then destroyed the weapons that the Dragon Men tried to attack him with and the soldiers were cut in two by the blade’s searing hot flame. Dragor asked what kind of creature is he which Lucarian replied “The Flame of Hope” after which the Fox decapitated the Dreaded Warlord in one fell swing.
Seeing their leader dead, Dragor’s Army tries to flee but then Lucarian plunged his sword into the ground and sent a huge shockwave of fire destroying the Dragon men in it’s radius into ashes. The threat of the Dragon Men was over, Animalbion was now free. The Dragon Men had a hard time getting back as their fleets were getting destroyed by the fish-like Atlanteans with their king riding on a mighty Kraken.
Whiteflames hidden power wears off and Lucarian lays dying on the battlefield. He saved Animalbion and became it’s saviour earning the title “The Fearless one”. Lucarian leaves Whiteflame in the hands of his General telling him to give it to an old Wolf. Animalbion is free for the moment, but there will be a time when evil threatens it once again and a new champion must arise to pick up the sword to challenge it. Lucarian was burned on a Funeral Pyre with many leaders of the Beast Kingdoms and Lucarian’s friends attending. Vixanna tells her father the king of the Foxes that although her Husband is dead she is with child and his bloodline will continue. The Leaders decided to put aside their old differences and hatreds and form a united realm where all beasts can live together in peace. Percival decides that the Felines will no longer use their nine lives for near Immortality and will age normally. They can use their lives to save them from accidents, fatal wounds and diseases but old age will not save them. However Percival and a few chosen others are excepted and will keep watch on Animalbion and it’s people in secret for any hidden threats. Some did claim to see an old hooded figure come by and took Whiteflame away but him and the sword were never seen again.
As the centuries pass, it is said that like Excalibur, Whiteflame is still hidden somewhere, kept guarded by the hooded figure. Waiting for the day when Lucarian’s heir is ready to take up his Birthright and become the new Champion Hero should disaster strikes the land once more….