Kingdom of Holden

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Logo of the Kingdom of Holden faction in the Romance of the Nine Empires card game

"Simm made many enemies when he carved Holden from the wilderness, enemies with long memories." —Tuatha Dundareel[1]

The Kingdom of Holden is one of the nine factions vying for control over Countermay.


Originally a refuge for free thinkers and individuals from across Countermay, the population in the Valley of Holden grew from a small camp, to a city, to a thriving nation over a generation under the leadership of legendary hero and quester Simm Buxtehude.

Militarily weak but cunning and resourceful, the Kingdom of Holden had grown into a force by the time of the War of the God-King. Holden was highly influential, as Buxtehude forged an alliance between Malchior, Arcanix, the Seelie of the Tuatha, the Ord, and the newly arrived Displaced against God-King Shad-Hujem's cult and their allies in the Esh and the Unseelie court of the Tuatha.

In the key turning point of the war, Buxtehude and the Seelie prince Tuatha Dundareel worked with the Displaced to vaporize Shad-Hujem and bury his Godhead Seat under a mountain of stone using the Displaced's city-killing bomb. Holden was officially recognized as an equal to the other factions after the war.

Buxtehude crowned Queen Genevieve as his successor before his death by a mysterious wasting disease known to the Displaced as "radiation poisoning."[2]

A generation later, as the Dread Army of Ixhasa marched across the land, Holden's power was waning, and there was an expectation among their court that Simm Buxtehude's daughter Myriad, a hero and quester in her own right, would be married off to prevent Holden from being violently destroyed or annexed by another faction.[1]

In The Gamers: Hands of Fate

During the 2013 R9E US Nationals tournament, both semi-finalist Natalie Warner and champion Sean Cassidy played Holden decks.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Vancil, Matt, et al. The Gamers: Hands of Fate Extended e04. YouTube, Dead Gentlemen Productions, 09 Oct. 2013,
  2. Vancil, Matt, and Nathan Rice. Romance of the Nine Empires: Rules of Play. Edited by Jeff Quick, Alderac Entertainment Group, 2013.