The Summer Heroes
The Iron Crown is a legendary item mentioned in the “Myth of the Founding”, the story of the founding of the Curators of the Sands of Time, and more extensively mentioned in the “Tale of Talisin, the King of Penwith”. In the Myth of the Founding, a young Talisin comes to see Nimue, the Oracle, who informs him that he is to be king of the united islands of Penwith; she then instructs Olwen to fashion a crown for Talisin. In the Myth, the crown takes three days for Olwen to finish, is shaped like a henge, and is beaten so fine that it shines like a glassy sea. This origin and description are repeated in the Tale of Talisin, though some scholars have posited that these are later insertions into Talisin’s legend (as the oldest surviving copy of the Tale is an extended, epic poem and not prose, and the sections that parallel the Myth of the Founding have a slightly different meter).
After the death of Aelred, Talisin’s grandson, the Iron Crown was lost and Penwith devolved into a land of small townships. The Oracles denounced the conflicts that had led to the kingdom’s breakup and vowed that someday Talisin’s spiritual successor would rise up to unite the islands once again and they would be known because they bore the Iron Crown. During the later years of Queen Auria’s reign, it was whispered that Auria must be Talisin’s heir and that the Iron Crown would surely resurface so that she might unite the islands once again. This dream was shattered by the Imperial invasion and subsequent annexation and, of course, Auria’s death. The legend of the Iron Crown is a thread that ties the cultures of all the cities of the Penwith archipelago together, though Auria is the only monarch to whom the legend has been tied.