Of all the major conflicts in the World of HOOD, this military campaign led by the Queendom of East Mercia against the Hycathae of Al-Murooj (AKA The Promised Land) is the most important to our core story. 

This is the war that left Robyn Loxley scarred – both physically and mentally – and made her who she is at the beginning of the main HOOD story that will play out in the HOOD Origins: Escape from the Promised Land audio drama, HOOD: The Return of Robyn novel, and HOOD: The Legend Retold TV series. 

As in the original Robin Hood legend, our Robyn followed King Richard into (what she believed was) a righteous war in a faraway land. But unlike the legend, this campaign had nothing to do with the spread of Christianity. Instead, the Hycathae had developed special seeds that could grow in any condition with the right magical prompting, and East Mercia was desperate to feed its people. But they were no match for the terrible magical entity that protects Al-Murooj and its people… The Red Phoenix.

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Al-Murooj had been consolidated as a refuge and new spiritual centre for Hycathism after the Second Hycath War, which had caused great numbers of Hycathae to leave or be driven out of nations the world over. It was founded by a deputation from Europe that was in possession of the Phoenix Stones – the Reckoning Holds of RagnaYlva and Ingeborg Blomgren, the instigators of the war. The deputation used Ylva’s hold, the Green Phoenix Stone, to fertilise the desert land of the Adrar Plateau in Mauritania. The concentration of Hycathic magic and science in Al-Murooj was a boon for the new city, helping it to thrive while other countries struggled during the Change. In particular, a new cultivar of seed was developed in Al-Murooj that could grow in extreme climates, providing the country with an important food resource.

The Anglia Isle had suffered greatly from the Change, seeing many of its coastal lands flooded and several acres of arable land destroyed. The Queendom of East Mercia, located at the middle of the Anglia Isle, lost much land to the Great Torrent and became wracked by the Long Famine. Knowing of the existence of the new seeds in Al-Murooj, East Mercia opened diplomatic negotiations with them in YE 874 in the hope of securing a consignment to cultivate on their now seawater-ridden landmass. By YE 876, however, negotiations had broken down, and after securing the support of the populace, King Richard IV undertook to lead the East Mercian Army to Al-Murooj. Champion archer Robyn Loxley joined their number, to great public fanfare. Richard installed his niece Marian – also Robyn’s partner – as regent in his absence.

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