Gruérius, the warlord

Nearly two millenniums ago, following close on the legendary age of giants, goblins and good fairies, the uninhabited regions surrounding the Sarine river were invaded by hardy tribes of Vandals and Burgudians who came from the North in search of new lands to settle and develop.

At the time the area was part of "Helvetia", a province of the then declining Roman Empire.

One of the warlords, Gruérius, painstakingly followed the river towards its upper regions and the mountains beckoning in the background. The country was wild, unexplored and covered with forests. Prospecting with a few close friends, ahead of his considerable retinue of warriors, families and livestock, he scrambled up the steep cliffs at the head of the main river valley and set foot on the wide sweep of an unexpected plain. He saw the three smaller river valleys winding down from the mountains to feed the Sarine, the forests full of animals and birds, the protective mountains surrounding the plain and the brave little rocky hill which stood out in the middle. He was enthralled, he knew instinctively that he had found his "promised land".

He decided, there and then, that this was where he would put down his roots. He would build his castle on the hill which provided an overall view of the plain and the valleys leading into it. The rocks at the base would be an efficient buttress if danger threatened.

He climbed the hill and as he stood there on a rocky outcrop in the setting sun, drinking in the beauty of the site, a white crane winged its way out of the bright orange-red sky, circled majestically and landed trustingly on his shoulder. Delighted, he heralded the bird as a good omen and announced to his faithful henchmen that this was where they would settle. He would call the area "Gruérius" and his coat of arms would bear a white crane on a deep red background.

Thematic route :
A Country of Legends

Text :
Clément Fontaine, from "Sous la bannière de la Grue"
Translation :
Stella Bonnet-Evans
Illustration :
Claudine Gelitzer




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