The story of Waungrugg and Heola is an ancient myth and cautionary tale. Originally of Hingarian origin, it is retold throughout the Bennvikan world.
It begins with Heola, a young warrior. She falls in love with Waungrugg, the prince she is sworn to protect.
Having gained her position through once saving Waungrugg’s life in battle, Heola has become a military officer of some acclaim, despite her youth. Yet while the handsome Prince Waungrugg treats her as a confidant, he sees her only as a servant and friend.
Heola believes that it is the boyishness of her military uniform that inhibits Waungrugg’s ability to see her not just as a soldier, but as a woman with romantic feelings and physical desires.
Waungrugg’s kingdom is at war. In the final great battle, Heola finds herself in the thick of the fighting.
Cutting down an enemy, Heola is aghast to see the face of the soldier morph into that of hag.
‘Spare me, and I will see that you become everything that your Prince Waungrugg desires. You will spend the rest of your days in his loving embrace,' the hag pleads.
Heola hesitates, thinking how dearly she would love Waungrugg to take her in his arms, profess his love for her and make her his wife.
In that moment, Heola is struck down my an arrow to the heart. Seeing this as the hag runs away, Waungrugg howls in anguish and runs over to Heola, catching her body in his arms and weeping as the light in her eyes fades.
The moral of the story is that Heola considered changing from her true self to gain the affection of a man, and it cost her everything.
Artwork - 'Veteran Swordsister' by Loles Romero at Artstation.