Champions of Epona
An Ancient Faith
For centuries, the ancient Brittonic tribes worshipped many Paganist Celtic deities. One integral to the Brittons especially was the beautiful goddess Epona, protector of horses, ponies, donkeys and mules. Brittonic infatuation with the equids can be traced further back than the worship of Epona as shown by the late-bronze age (1000-700BC) White Chalk Horse, Oxfordshire, England.
While at a much later date, the worship of Epona echoed the Brittonic values of equine expertise and was a very popular deity having been worshipped throughout much of the Anglo-Roman region between the 1st and 3rd centuries AD. While Gaulish, Epona was quickly adopted by the Southern Brittons from Gaulish influence, and was most probably one of the Celtic deity variations most accepted by them.
The White Horse that Epona is associated with is of mythological importance in many cultures, and is represented alongside multiple Celtic deities such as the Welsh Rhiannon. It is usually considered to be associated with a Sun Chariot (Sun God; sometimes ‘of the sky’), Warrior-heroes, and end-of-time saviour. It is this association, along with the traditions of Brittonic culture, that amplify the importance of the equids to the descendants of the ancient Brittonic tribes.
The Champions of Epona maintain the traditions of the ancient tribes of Iceni, Coritani, and Brigantes by continuing their devotion to Epona, and to their horses. Their devotion is displayed proudly in their battles, as well as in their care for their companions, and their offerings to Epona.
A Deep History
Much like their religion, The Champions of Epona are rooted in tradition and history and are descended from the Iceni tribe famously lead by Queen Boadicea against the Roman Empire. Through war and torment, their ancestral populace was dispersed into the regions controlled by the neighbour tribes Brigantes and Coritani. Similar cultures allowed ease of transition into a more northern territory, where the Ancestors became revered for their ability to tame horses. Tales of their battles had spread far throughout the land; of how their white horses rode like lightning through the seas of enemies, and of how their riders, broad of shoulder and strong of arm, fought bravely in the face of death. The Ancestors amassed wealth, and dramatically increased their numbers.
The Ancestors progressed into the East Midlands, where in the 9th century AD, Viking invasion saw the five boroughs of Derby, Lincoln, Leicester, Nottingham and Stamford come under Danelaw. They were known as the ‘five boroughs of Danelaw’, and were home to the Ancestors until the uprising of Lady Æthelflæd of Mercia retook Derby, where they were primarily based.
This constant alteration between Norse and Brittonic rule not only taught the Ancestors of various cultures, but also angered them. The Brittonic values upheld by Lady Æthelflæd were no longer as they recalled, and the Norse rulers, while hardy, had deities too dissimilar to the Ancestors’. It was then that the ‘Champions of Epona’ were born; a nomadic tribe sworn to the old gods (primarily Epona), having vowed to uphold the oldest of their traditions and mastery.
The Champions of Epona set sail and eventually arrived in Elyria, where they continue their nomadic existence to this day, living off the land and fighting for their cultural independence.
A Unique Gaming Experience in Elyria
The ‘Champions of Epona’ offers a special variant of gameplay to that usually adopted by those within Elyria. It more fully emphasises both a sense of survival, and a sense of companionship. Living nomadically not only unburdens the player of many materialistic and monetary ties, but allows for a greater in-game adventure; a chance to explore the entirety of Elyria with like-minded players with each other’s best interests at heart; a band of brothers and sisters. Players are more immersed in the nature and cultures of Elyria, and are encouraged to experience the violence of battle alongside the subtlety of family and homely activities. It is anything but monotonous!
It also, mechanics allowing, will mean players are free of nationality. Obviously the mechanics plays a large role in this, as players will be required to start as a member of a family within a nation, so will most likely owe some form of taxes, and a starting nation will need to be organised. Currently, The Champions of Epona will be beginning in the county of Thunormore, in the kingdom of Nirath, so it’s advised that members consider also starting their gameplay in the same kingdom. Beginning in Nirath will perhaps afford a greater deal of liberty than beginning in an NPC kingdom might.
Experience for Yourself!
The Champions of Epona is open to any and all. It’s a close-knit community that will always protect its own.
Please journey to us, and find our Discord campfire here