All hail Bladud, Flying Necromancer King of Briton
Good old England has had more than its fair share of crazy monarchs. We only have to glance through the history books to Henry VIII and George III to know that we do quite like our royal family to be missing more than a few screws underneath their crown.
Right at the top of the crazy-awesome tree has to be King Bladud who according to legend (and by legend I mean “history books we don’t believe any more. And Wikipedia“) reigned as King of the Britons from 863BC. He cured himself of leprosy by noticing that pigs that bathed in mud from a particular spring didn’t suffer from skin sores. He bathed in the same mud, was cured and thus founded the City of Bath on the source of the springs.
So far, so marginally historically interesting.
What if I mention that he was a necromancer and enchanter who actively encouraged the practise of divination by necromancy during his reign. This was a realm where Speak With Dead was a royal command.
And he could fly.
Admittedly, he didn’t fly particularly well, but how many other Flying Kings can you name off the top of your head? Not too many, I’m betting. King Bladud crafted wings for himself and attempted to fly from the top of the Temple of Apollo in Trinovantum (London as was), presumably to avoid having to pay the congestion charge.
He could fly, but he couldn’t land for toffee. King Bladud died after crashing and hitting a wall. I like to think that he was avoiding paparazzi at the time, but that is probably a little far fetched.
I would love to run a Pendragon campaign where the Returned King Bladud was a vile winged lich who threatened all that your Arthurian heroes held dear, and only a still hot drop of water from the original springs of Bath could finally lay him to rest.
Now that would be a tail worth telling, don’t you think?