King Bourn I of Etrand
Coin based off Bourn's portrait, made during his reign
|Birth||6th of Rasaalu, 626 AEKE|
11th of Anarkalina, 688 AEKE|
62 in Artograchian years,
64 in Terran years (at the time of death)
|Father||King Hereric III of Etrand|
|King of Etrand|
|Predecessor||King Hereric III of Etrand|
|Successor||King Calder I of Etrand|
King Bourn I of Etrand (Etrandish: Bourn ; IPA: [b̥oʊ̯ɹn] ) was the ruler of Etrand between 664 and 688 AEKE. He was considered the last "proper" King under the Tondbertid dynastiy, although some would say that the Tonodbertid dynasty's decline began under his reign, as there was quite a bit of dynastic infighting during his early reign.
Bourn was born in 6th of Rasaalu, 626 AEKE, as the second son of King Hereric III of Etrand. Bourn was given a different type of education than what was typical of princes - he was taught architecture, siege engineering and logistics. He became an expert at the designing of castles, a master architect and also an expert at sieges, knowing what to do from both the defender's and attacker's points of view. His skills at warfare were never put to the test, as Etrand was at peace during both his and his father's reigns.
Bourn was also known for his appreciation of music - he was an avid fan of various musicians at the time - he himself both composed music and played two instruments, namely the harpsichord and the lute. In that respect, his granddaughter would consider him a role model. To be able to practice his skills as an architect, he was given a small plot of land near the borders between Etrand and Etrancoast, where he would design and build his experimental fortifications.
During his early life, there were a lot of gossips about the prince getting romantically involved with all the maids in the royal palace.
Bourn got married at the age of 25, in 651 to Lynasa, younger sister of Earl Shiwad of Etrancoast, with his father's full blessings. After his marriage, he would sell his border estate and move to Grandfolk, where he would make home at the royal palace. His new place of employment would be the Royal Academy of Grandfolk, in which he would teach engineering - quite an unusual job for a prince. Ten years later, tragedy would hit the royal palace - his older brother, Prince Corlagon - who would have became King Corlagon II - died of unknown causes, leaving him to be the successor to the throne. Three years later, his father Hereric III would die as well.
In 664, King Hereric III of Etrand died, leaving the 38-years old Bourn as the new King of Etrand. Three years weren't really enough for Bourn to prepare for kingship - his two twin sons Hengist and Osric suddenly turned on and killed each other, which only worsened the mental state of the middle-aged king. After at least half a decade would he finally start getting the hang of the whole being a king ordeal.
In 667, his "replacement son" Calder was born, whom he reputedly abused, due to his unrealistic and unreasonable expectations of him. This made Calder very stressed, and he would end up hating his own father so much, he would not even attend his funeral and immediately take the crown and the throne after he would die, rather than waiting for the funeral. Later on, Bourn's wife Lynasa would give birth to three more sons for him - Kerlon, Symner and Zylf.
King Bourn had little interest in taxation and actual politics, so he struggled to maintain the status quo that was in effect during his father's reign - he relied heavily on his advisors when it came to those "pesky and annoying" topics that did not interest him - he preferred to design new extensions for cities like Grandfolk and new buildings, and his favourite pastime activity would be composing music, and either performing it or asking the court musicians to perform it. However, to say that he was a negligent king would be wrong - he genuinely cared for the people and took steps to improve their quality of life, and being an expert at siege engine, he wrote entire books on siege and siege engines, improving Etrand's capacity at that type of warfare. He was considered a stern and authoritarian king, who loathed petty politicking - when he wanted something built, he did not accept backtalk and explanations.
By the time his reign ended in 688, he has had profound effect on Etrand's architecture - old, ruined buildings rebuilt, cities expanded, damaged buildings rejuvenated (both modified with his designs in mind). Even though High Elven-style bathhouses have already existed in Etrand prior to his reign, he did a lot to popularize them. Public buildings - such as taverns and bathhouses - built during Bourn's reign had extra space for musicians to perform, store their equipment at and go to rest.
There is little to no proof that King Bourn was unfaithful to his wife Lynasa - contemporary historians believe that it was a malicious rumour spread around by the political opposition to discredit the King, and 8th century propagandists and "historians" perpetuated the lie to show how decadent that late Tondbertid dynasty got.
On 11th of Anarkalina, 688 AEKE, King Bourn died at the age of 63 of food poisoning. Before the clerics could get to him and cure him of his ailment, he has already died - the months before, his health was already getting progressively worse. In the last two years of his life, royal apothecaries were already advising him to exchange his habits for healthier ones, but he refused. Chroniclers claim that on his deathbed, he apologized to Calder for mistreating him, but Calder looked at him with a disgusted face and only raised his eyebrows, remaining silent. Rather than waiting for the crowning ceremony, he immediately took his father's crown as soon as he closed his eyes for the last time.