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Once upon a time, the Goddess Sara needed help. As the Goddess of Horses, Sara was responsible for looking after horses everywhere, but most especially in North of North, the homeland of all horses. Sara was also the patron Goddess of the Valkyries, a group of immortal women who rode flying horses and inspired heroes to help those in need. The leader of the Valkyries was Sara’s adoptive sister Sigga Rolanddotter, who helped Sara watch over North of North and its horses. Sigga nurtured and protect the horses from the Wolf Riders - wicked women who wanted to control the horses and their magic.
Then one day Sigga broke one of the rules of the Valkyries and fell in love with a mortal man. As punishment, she was made mortal and banished from North of North. Now there was no Valkyrie to protect the land or care for the vast herds Sigga had built. Four of the herds were in danger. But the great storyteller Fable had already told Sara that this day would come. She also said that the land would be safe if Sara placed these herds under the protection of the four legendary horses: Nike, Jewel, Fiona, and Thunder.
So Sara gave each legendary horse the responsibility of protecting part of Sigga’s herd. Nike would protect the air horses, Jewel the water horses, Fiona the hotblooded land horses, and Thunder the coldbloods.
Nike’s herd is called Herd Airistos.
They live to the south in a chain of flying islands known as the Windhome Skylands. With its lush gardens, enchanting waterfalls, and gentle breezes, it was the perfect home for flying horses. Herd Airistos has Uranus and Anemone as its king and queen. Inspired by Nike’s quest for excellence, they in turn chose their court from the horses who set the highest goals for themselves and worked hardest to achieve them. Their castle is on the largest and highest of the islands, overlooking the rest. The domed roofs and tall columns of Airistos Castle is graced by courtyard gardens filled with blooming plants brought from all over North of North. From this heavenly home in the clouds, the horses of Herd Airistos guard the skies of the south.
Jewel’s herd is called Herd Islandar.
They live far to the east in the islands of Equinesia. In the warm, tropical waters of the Celestial Deep, with its lush lawns of sweetwater grass, they have the perfect home for water horses. Herd Islandar has Treasure and Edana as its king and queen. Inspired by Jewel’s generosity, they in turn chose their court from the kindest and most giving horses in the herd. They live in Islandar Castle’s towering pinnacles built on a great coral reef, and they brought many of the treasures protected by Jewel’s guardians there for safekeeping. From this undersea paradise, the horses of Herd Islandar guard the eastern oceans, rivers, and lakes.
Fiona’s herd is called Herd Shahazar.
They live far to the north in the vast desert of the Autumn Sands. With its ever-changing, colorful dunes and bright sunshine, it made a perfect home for heat-loving horses. Herd Shahazar has Nasim and Aviva as its king and queen. Inspired by Fiona’s creativity, they in turn chose their court from the greatest artists and most creative thinkers in the herd. For many years, Herd Shahazar had been nomadic, never staying in one place very long. Eventually Fiona convinced them to build a home by transforming a great dune into Castle Shahazar, and Prince Shamal used his magic to bring a lush, green oasis to the castle grounds. From this magical desert kingdom, the horses of Herd Shahazar guard the northern lands.
Thunder’s herd is called Herd Valeryk.
They live high up the great Midwinter Mountains in the center of North of North, next to the vast ice lake known as Wintermere. With its snow-covered evergreen forests and icy blue glaciers, these mountains made a perfect home for cold-loving horses. Herd Valeryk has Sleetmane and Snowdreamer as its king and queen and Thora as its princess. Inspired by Thunder’s courage, they in turn chose their court from the bravest horses in the herd. Right on the shore of Wintermere, they found a natural hot spring and decided this would be a great spot to build their home. Thunder stomped his hooves and called the lightning to carve Castle Valeryk’s great towers from the mountains’ rock and ice. From this winter wonderland, the horses of Herd Valeryk guard the heart of North of North.
These four royal herds protected much of North of North from the evil of the Wolf Riders; but other herds were scattered all over North of North. Sara knew that with Sigga gone, Trails End and Rolandsgaard Castle would need their protection more than ever. So Bella, greatest of all horses and Sara’s special friend, agreed to allow the wise horses that stayed in Trail’s End to join her own herd, Herd Bellasara. Guided by High Queen Bella and High King Bello they guarded all the wonders of Trails End, awaiting the day when Sigga’s heir will arrive and North of North will have a Valkyrie once more. Currently, Emma Roland is interim Valkyrie.