The Slaying of Helmfonleif

The Slaying of Helmfonleif the Barbarian Chieftain by King Arcthellios Whereupon He Slew Himself Also With His Own Spear And It did Brake, And the Signing of the Treaty Between the Peoples of Archlond And the Barbarian Peoples

“How Helmfonleif was Slain by Arcthellios, and How by Him Arcthellios was Hurt to the Death.” – Arthur Rackham (1917)

It came about that when the elves offered to negotiate peace between the peoples of Archlond and the Barbarian peoples, and sought to convince the barbarians of how they had been deceived by the forces of evil, that the Beast Lord Helmfonleif did not believe the elves, having been so thoroughly deceived himself that he mistrusted the elves by virtue of their race. Thus Helmfonleif gathered together a great contingent of the barbarian hordes and with them sought to annihilate the knights of Archlond and plunder their lands and women. And so Arcthellios, a paladin of great renown – and for his wisdom in allying with the elves, was crowned king and given charge of the knights; and with them he did do battle against the barbarians: their raiders and berzerkers, their beast riders and their hordes of ravening warriors; and won great and pressing victories. At last when the king had pitched his final battle against the forces of chaos, in a cavernous hollow of the Southern Dragonspine, it happened that Arcthellios and Helmfonleif came together in martial combat. And they hacked and hewed each t’other, and wounded them many grievous blows; from high sun to high moon they did thus, with little respite between them. When the king charged with his horse upon the barbarian the latter’s war tiger mount did leap upon the former’s horse as Arcthellios did catch his spear upon the beast lord’s shield, and with it did thrust down the barbarian. So they unhorsed themselves and closed to melee battle; when Helmfonleif didst off his mount leap, he didst also wrest the king’s spear from his hand and threw it aside. The two great warriors leapt together like lions, assailing one another with many terrible strikes: sword against axe; their scene did take up the larger theatre. Though the chieftain’s strokes were hard and heavy, and cleaving of more than a single rock, Arcthellios did with his sword disarm the barbarian. And so it was that Helmfonleif did leap to the castaway spear, and the noble king thrust himself upon it and broke it asunder in order that he should leave that dolorous stroke, which ended that war. And the councillors did meet: the countries of Archlond with the barbarian tribes; and they brought peace to Archlond, and the people did rejoice, with the playing of harps and of lyres, flutes and reeds and trumpets and horns; and also drums and many exotic instruments of elf and barbarian alike. Thus endeth the hystory of Arcthellios, mighty king of Archlond.

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The Barbarian Wars
Legends of Archlond

The Slaying of Helmfonleif

The Chronicles of Erdon Beaumains