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Dramatis Personae

Discussion in 'Machiavel: Ambition' started by Ravana, Jun 25, 2011.

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  1. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

    This will be an ongoing, stickied thread, providing an ever-expanding cast of NPCs to interact with.

    I will probably rearrange the order of the posts from time to time, to keep the most obvious things grouped together.

    [Note: this thread is still in the process of being updated to reflect recent changes. Those threads that contain outdated information—no matter how little—are labeled in red. Others have either been updated or are unlikely to change significantly (such as the ones concerning past emperors).]


    This post: miscellaneous fixtures at court—including some in continuous attendance at "the Perpetual Ball" (see that thread). [current]
    #2: The Great Officers, Legates, and Privy Council [current]
    #3: Dukes and Duchesses, Marquises and Marchionesses, part 1 [current]
    #4: Dukes and Duchesses, Marquises and Marchionesses, part 2 [current]
    #5: Dukes and Duchesses, Marquises and Marchionesses, part 3 [current]
    #6: The Emperors and their Elections, part 1 [current]
    #7: The Emperors and their Elections, part 2 [current]
    #8: A Few Persons of Importance from the Kingdoms, part 1
    #9: A Few Persons of Importance from the Kingdoms, part 2
    #10: Heads of the Princely Lines [current]
    #11: Governors [current]



    Farad of Szentylim, Pursuivant Instructor to the Imperial Palace Heralds
    The unenlightened tend to equate “pursuivant” with “herald.” Here’s the difference: heralds are the ones with loud voices. Pursuivants are the ones who keep track of heraldry—the coats of arms of all the nobles of the empire, and even a few places beyond. Of course, in order for heralds to be able to do all that announcing they do, they need to be able to recognize all those devices. Farad’s job is to teach them this skill. Which means he may not know you by your face, but he’s almost certain to recognize your banner or signet ring. Oh: he also happens to have a loud voice. But that has little to do with his job… unless you’re under his tutelage, and make a mistake. You can be sure that not only you but a good portion of the rest of the palace will hear about it.

    Heveric, Prince Royal, Maritsa Line
    What do you do when you’re a prince with a silver mine on your lands and no responsibilities whatsoever? Heveric addressed this problem by becoming a clothes horse. While it’s not true that he never wears the same item twice, it is true that he never wears the same complete outfit twice—and he has a secretary whose sole duty it is to record each combination to make sure there are no mistakes. The problem is that Heveric’s taste is execrable: one day he might appear in fine silk brocades, the next in a yak’s-hair toga… what does he care, so long as no one else is wearing what he is? (This specific juxtaposition did in fact occur; mercifully, the toga was retired after a single appearance.) Nevertheless, he is often looked to, at least by sycophants and hangers-on at court, as an indication of fashion, since any new trend will appear on his body before it does on anyone else’s; and he does work through variations on a theme, for as long as he can come up with novel ones. At present this sees him, and his followers, wearing trousers that widen as they descend to the ankle—a style the prince has dubbed “tocsin-bottoms”—and suede jackets or vests; all else changes from day to day. Those who claim the Maritsa line is growing decadent generally look no farther than this for their example. To the astonishment of everyone in the Empire, Heveric has recently become engaged to be married… to Baroness-Elect Sigrelyn of House Drachteving, daughter and heir of Siguving, Duchess of Sjaermund (a woman whose reputation for holding daunting expectations regarding would-be suitors for her daughter is only slightly less than her reputation for caber-juggling). Near-unanimous court rumor holds that Heveric intends to personally design the clothes the bride and groom are to wear. No word yet on which role he intends for which participant.

    Leina, Countess of Fendrichsvegn
    The only times she’s been back to her fief since she was confirmed in it have been when an Imperial Progress passed through: she sent her husband home as quickly as she could decently arrange, and has remained at court ever since. Which is not to say that she doesn’t have a handle on the affairs of her fief, just that she’s not interested in being there. If there’s court gossip, she’s either heard it or started it herself. Is rumored to keep two journals, one titled “Who’s Who” and the other “Who Cares?” Be sure your name appears in the appropriate one.

    Manchovar, Prince Royal, Maritsa Line
    The imperial court’s foremost doddering old fool. A veritable font of information for those who know how to approach him… which usually consists of just lending your time and ear. He is also noted for the elegance of his handwriting—just as well, as his letters exceed even his conversations in length. Is the only one of the Last Emperor’s grandchildren still living.

    Mernich, Viscount of Radaborn, Metropolitan of Efvingsthal
    In a society that technically lacks organized religion, this is about as powerful as it gets among ecclesiastics. It doesn’t hurt that he’s also a viscount, though he leaves management of his fief almost entirely to others… though the same could be said about his see. Most of his time and effort go into making religion more of an organized, powerful factor.

    Segyert the Blind, Stationer Major of the Imperial Post
    If you’ve ever wondered why your letter to the emperor went unanswered, this man might be the reason. Yes, he really is blind. And yes, he’s in charge of directing mail going in and out of the palaces. No, his blindness wasn’t viewed by the emperor as a convenient excuse for misdirected and lost mail: the emperor has several well-paid minions without titles—but with excellent eyesight—who handle that for him. Segyert, who lost his own vision in the process of gaining the seniority that got him his position, has his own share of assistants who tell him what address a missive bears, and the seal of its sender… based on which, he decides if it deserves to arrive at its intended destination.

    Serifet, Princess Royal, Line of Erchevold-Ravensthal
    You would think that the palace would be a perfect place to look for princes and princesses, but in fact most of them spend most of their time in their own lands (or at least those of close relatives). This is even more true of the ones from the emperor’s own line than the others. Serifet, a second cousin of Emperor Nikovar, is one of the exceptions. She has been keeping herself, and her ten-year-old son, close to the center of power for the past several years. Whether this is because she has no power of her own, or because she prefers the food there, no one is quite certain.

    Timiseta, Marchioness Dowager of Cantrescu
    A loveless marriage made for politics—her father’s—left her on this side of the fence; her husband’s death some years past left her pretty much free to do as she pleases. Right now, it pleases her to hang about court and run up extravagant expenses. She and her son, the current Marquis, have as little to do with one another as they can possibly manage. Rumor has it she still has contacts in “the old country” (the Kingdom of Kerezney)… and given her present bitterness about the diminishment of her son’s march (and thus her spending allowance), it’s likely she’s busy strengthening those links.

    Tulgrid, Princess Royal, Line of Helderau
    The 27-year-old princess has been spending increasing amounts of time at the palaces recently. Some say it’s in order to secure eventual preferment for her two children, though neither is particularly close to coming of age just yet. Others speculate she’s her aunt Princess-Regnant Ilda’s new chief spy at court, following the somewhat abrupt death of the previous suspected holder of that position a couple years ago. If she’s anything like her great-grandmother namesake (those who knew the former say she is) or her empress grandmother (perhaps not quite as much), or for that matter any of the women of her line, she’ll prove a formidable force to reckon with in years to come.

    Widigern, Deputy Supervisor of Imperial Housekeeping for Hearths and Chimneys
    Some times, it’s not friends in high places, it’s friends in the right places. Widigern is the third man on the totem pole when it comes to chimney sweeps and charwomen in the imperial palaces… and everyone who resides at the palace, or even stays overnight, has a hearthplace, so his employees get into even more places than those of most of his peers. And since he’s probably a decade away from being promoted to Vice-Supervisor of Imperial Housekeeping for Hearths and Chimneys, never mind Supervisor of etc., and since it would require a mid-sized massacre of upper management for him to make it to Supervisor Superior of Housekeeping, he needs to find alternative channels if he wants to see advancement.
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2011
  2. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

    THE GREAT OFFICERS, along with a couple Pretty Good ones: [updated to Year 373]

    Andeling of Venden, Lord Chancellor (Great Office)
    Widely held to be the second most powerful person in the empire. Depending on who you’re talking to, the emperor may come in first or third. Andeling, a cousin of Duke Arsirich on his mother’s side (and thus not a prince), wasn’t even on anybody’s watch list to take over from the long-serving and strong-willed Rineyard of Grassmer, who submitted her resignation upon the emperor’s accession. (This is not held to signify any animosity between them–she is 56, and had held Great Offices for over a decade and a half: likely she’d simply grown weary of them–though it no doubt came as a relief to the new emperor not to have to decide whether to retain her.) Andeling, by contrast, is in his late 30s, and has never served in the chancellery in any capacity; nor is he noted for any other administrative accomplishment… or, for that matter, a strong will. Which may have been what settled the new emperor upon him, entirely apart from any favors he might have felt obliged to return.

    Ergon, Viscount of Sakvikvegn, Secretary of the Imperial Privy Council
    Appointed in the last year of Nikovar’s reign, he has been retained by emperor Evrefritz. While this office is far from being a “great” one–it’s the lowest permanent office even in the Privy Council–it still wields significant administrative influence. No doubt the new Lord Chancellor, his supervisor, will lean heavily on Ergon’s greater experience in the early days of his administration, no matter how limited that “experience” might be.

    Fastar, Viscount of Tulgyeja, Lord Privy Seal
    While this office usually goes to a member of the emperor’s own line, the present emperor has chosen to bestow it upon one of his longtime, trusted vassals instead. Slightly older than Evrefritz, he advised his father before him as well, and has served both men as a commander in the field, though wounds a few years back forced him to retire from this pursuit.

    Gerasig, Count of Ulrichsvegn, Lord Steward of the Realm (Great Office)
    The steady, almost serene middle-aged count from central Elgau was as easy a choice as an emperor trying to fill high office is likely to face. When Princess Rineyard was offered the Chancellorship, the emperor had already drafted the letter requesting Gerasig to come serve. Now 55, he has brought dignity–and some influence–to a position that at times has been little more than supernumerary, and as often as not highly frustrating. He is part of the regency council for Duchess-Apparent Elislet, in spite of coming from a different duchy. (His own duke is a great-uncle of hers.) Has been continued in this office by emperor Evrefritz, an act that was widely approved, if unexpected, particularly in light of the vast expansion of powers the new emperor has granted this office.

    Hunyelad of Nygesha, Lord Treasurer (Great Office)
    A highly unusual appointment, in that high offices usually go to high nobles, whereas Hunyelad’s last post was Lord Mayor of Nygesha, an Imperial City on the eastern border. Apparently something about the way he discharged his duties caught influential eyes. Has been continued in this office by emperor Evrefritz.

    Malenty of Vojvonislu, Lord Marshal (Great Office)
    Every so often, someone gets appointed to office by virtue of competence rather than family or connections. General Malenty, long-time Lord Mayor-Castellan of Friudigen (when he wasn’t putting out a fire somewhere else in the empire) is one of those. Named, but never formally appointed, by Nikovar following the assassination of Count Gesigert of Aldenthau, he was still in the field cleaning up the aftereffects of the war that created Althegnar when the new emperor confirmed him in the position.

    Mazosyr, Prince, Minister of State (Great Office)
    The appointment of a Maritsa to this office caused consternation: not because he was incompetent–quite the opposite. The close ties of that line to Kereszney and the prince’s unquestionable (and, for a line widely regarded as decadent, uncharacteristic) energy still worry many, and, at age 32, he’s still one of the youngest ever to hold his office, even after five years in it. Has been continued in this office by emperor Evrefritz–to the surprise of many, including his own.

    Osideng, Lord Steward of the Imperial Household
    The other contender for second most powerful person in the empire. Son of the emperor’s aunt Anelda, his father’s younger sister, the 42-year-old Osideng grew up with Evrefritz and often fulfilled the role of big brother. Keeping bullying peers off the young ducal heir should prove the perfect education for one whose primary task will involve controlling access to him now that he’s become emperor. Administrating the massive mechanism of the Imperial Household is considered to be as much within his capacities as it is anybody’s.

    Rigobert of Fulgau, Pursuivant General
    Has taken the traditional neutrality of this office to new levels–when appointed, he abdicated his own viscounty and the succession to the Duchy of Upper Fulgau, in favor of his niece Elistyn, who’d just borne her first child. No one imagined that she’d die six years later at age 32, leaving behind a daughter in need of a regency. Given his personality, he probably would have done the same even if he had imagined it. Regarded as all but unapproachable. In spite of, or perhaps because of his neutrality, this office has risen to new heights of influence over the nine years of his tenure.

    Terinnya, Lord High Justicar (Great Office)
    The replacement of the aging (and singularly unimpressive) Hunyevert was not only a foregone conclusion, but a long-awaited change. Terinnya, formerly Magistrate of Altgau, has had to suffer no ill effects from the dissolution of the region she served with sometimes too-notable zeal. The only thing that seemed of any surprise in her appointment is that she has rarely gotten along famously with Evrefritz in his past legal dealings… though perhaps he developed some respect for one of the few people ever to check him. Or at least felt he’d rather have her on his side than otherwise.

    Trischof of Iasuni, Lord Admiral (Great Office)
    Friction between then-archduke Evrefritz and Lord Admiral Zerich made it impossible that the latter would be retained when the former ascended the throne, no matter how many people thought it would be otherwise desirable. Trischof is considered a suitable replacement by all, however: well-known and well-respected in naval circles, and for that matter possessing more than three times the experience of his predecessor, who’d never set out on blue waters prior to assuming the post. Trischof has never operated out of northern ports, but is said to know the Southern Sea like the back of his hand… though one might question the appropriateness of the simile, given the featurelessness of open water.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  3. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

    DUKES and DUCHESSES, MARQUISES and MARCHIONESSES, part 1: [updated to Year 373]

    Alisa, Duchess of Bergeheim, Countess of Vargin, Princess Royal
    A woman who’s managed to be in the right place at the right time twice in her life: first, when her older brother was denied their mother’s county as a result of accepting a viscounty in Vaesthegnar; second, by being positioned to displace the previous duke’s offspring after he died of poison during the most recent Midwinter Court. Only the naturally suspicious and cynical thought they could detect a possibility she had some hand in the latter; everyone else just considered it fortunate her soldiery was already mobilized when it occurred, so that the attendant turmoil could be minimized. (To be fair, there was a largish war drawing near to her borders at the time. The soldiery of the countess of Ravensthal, with whom Alisa split the old duke’s holdings, had already been mobilized as well.) Though she had to bribe her neighbors in Venden and Hesjedal with some small bits of territory, and though the northern lands that had once been the duchy of Malodbord were lost to the latter’s reconstitution, there’s no doubt the 45-year-old countess came out ahead. Or that her older brother Varderig was the biggest loser, since with the changes in relations between the empire and what is now Althegnar, he was stripped of his other title; this has been passed to her 28-year-old son. Where her brother may have passed is not presently known.

    Angrebuda, Duchess of Hedan-Saxar, Princess Royal
    Half the reason Saxar is no longer a single duchy, her twin Clothilde being the other half. Although given that they were infants when their father died, their mother probably had more to do with it than they did. The two are part what is unquestionably the most complicated segment of all noble genealogy: their father, Hudelbert of Saxar was the second husband of Winigret, the current emperor’s mother (his father was her first husband), with whom he sired the emperor’s youngest brother, Tergiv; when Winigret died, Hudelbert married her sister Seligret, who gave birth to the twins and convinced (browbeat) him into bequeathing his duchy to her daughters rather than her stepson. (The bequest also led, only slightly less directly, to the creation of the County Palatine of Markovar, the realm with the dubious privilege of standing between those of the sisters.) Then when Hudelbert died, Seligret herself remarried; her eldest child from that union is the emperor’s new Lord Privy Council. Got all that? The girls, now 30, hate the domineering, 57-year-old Seligret, who is still Countess of Rachevnar–and it’s anybody’s guess who will inherit that realm–and hate each even more. Angrebuda’s husband, Prince Gederich, is from a fairly unimportant cadet branch of the Helderau line, though his sister is the wife of the Duke of Vahir-Dascu… not that she holds any fondness for him, considering his line was awarded the electoral dignity stripped form her own when her father divided his realm.

    Arsirich, Duke of Venden, Governor of the Daarwold, Prince Royal
    A 44-year-old great-grandson of Angrid, founder of the Helderau line; inherited his title from his mother’s family, not his princely one. Men of his lineage have trended toward interesting though rarely lengthy lives: his grandfather died in battle at age 28 during the final days of the Civil War, before his father was born; he in turn didn’t survive much longer than it took to sire two sons. A quiet, cautious man who rarely inspires much trust, though it’s also rare that anyone can think of specific reasons to distrust him.

    Barad, Marquis of Cantrescu
    With the dramatic changes following Duke Teover’s forging of Vaesthegnar and Lorthegnar into a single kingdom, only three marches remain in the empire. Until recently, the most powerful (even when there were ten of them), since the previous year’s defection of the county of Merchureadu to Kereszney Cantrescu has been on a downward slide. Not only didn’t it regain Merchureadu, it ended up losing the loyal county of Trebovilje in the process. Nor have Barad’s mother’s Kereszney “connections” done him any good… not that he and she get along anyway. On the other hand, probably the only thing that would prevent Vahir-Dascu’s eventual absorption of the march would be Cantrescu’s own defection… in which case it would probably be absorbed by the duchy of Vedrosani instead.

    Clothilde, Duchess of Nieden-Saxar, Princess Royal
    See Angrebuda for most details. Married because it was necessary under the law to inherit her realm (and get out from under her mother’s control), shed no tears when her husband died in battle a couple years later. Has yet to remarry, or even show an inclination to; is probably the empire’s most eligible and least courted noble.

    Drebham, Grand Duke of Meinterthagn, Elector
    The empire’s only grand duke saw his grandfather stripped of an electoral dignity in the Year 22 over a purported plot to aid an invasion from Lorthegnar. The line has waged a defensive struggle ever since, most recently against the dynastic maneuvers of their neighbors in Eszerthagn. Nevertheless, it remains one of the most powerful realms in the empire. A reserved, conservative man in his late 50s, Drebham would probably have difficulty finding any allies at all if it weren’t for the fact that his enemies tend to make them for him… though much of this tension has abated following the resolution of the Aldenthau/Neraldsfel conflict and the restoration of the Electorate to the grand duchy upon emperor Evrefritz’s accession.

    Elislet, Duchess Apparent of Upper Fulgau, Princess Royal
    Her uncle Rigobert surrendered the succession to the duchy when he was appointed Pursuivant General–a move that was hardly required of him–passing it on to Elislet’s 26-year-old mother. Six years later, and after only two years as duchess, she was carried off by a sudden illness, leaving behind a six-year-old sole heir in need of regency. Fortunately, Elislet’s distant aunt of Lower Fulgau and her great-uncle of Elgau both look kindly upon her… serving as significant deterrents to an openly ambitious Bergeheim. Elislet’s regents are actively seeking to arrange an early wedding match for her, though, so someone seems to be worried about something.…

    Geserich, Duke of Evanstad
    Giving away only a year to his neighbor Alstein, the aging but still hale duke was present when Corelmor was proclaimed the first emperor of the second imperium; his age and lengthy tenure provide him with considerable influence. His lands have recently been considerably expanded following the dissolution of the duchy of Alstein. One of the great pillars of stability in the empire, popular and (by most accounts) wise and just. His eventual death–which cannot be far distant–will sadden many, and give heart to the empire’s enemies.

    Graudiger, Duke of Elgau
    The name is something of an informal contraction: properly, it’s “North and South Elgau,” but the two haven’t been separate realms in living memory. While it’s unlikely they ever would be anyway, certainly part of the reason is because it’s almost impossible to find someone living whose memory doesn’t include Graudiger sitting its throne. Born when the empire was still intact, at age 83 he is by far the oldest of the empire’s reigning nobles–a reign which has spanned three quarters of his life, antedating the current empire itself. All of Graudiger’s children are dead; his heir is a middle-aged grandchild, and at the rate Graudiger is going, he may end up outliving that generation as well. A solid, dependable man who loves stability more than advancement, in his younger days, his name was a terror to those who would rip the empire asunder. While his sword-arm may no longer inspire such feelings, there are still few who would care to face him as a general.

    Hengvorg, Duke of Shevidhagn
    A riddle wrapped in an enigma wrapped in finely-embroidered silk brocade from across the sea his realm faces. No small amount of imperial politics has been devoted to denying the dukes control of the empire’s largest seaports–or even moderate-sized ones; Hengvorg seems not to have been overly inconvenienced by this. So heavily focused outward, he is often forgotten in court maneuverings… which might prove a costly error to someone some day, considering his is the duchy with the easiest access to Crown Reach. Is his lack of interest merely a poise, or does he really not care about what goes on in the empire? And if so, what might that lead him to do?
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  4. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

    DUKES and DUCHESSES, MARQUISES and MARCHIONESSES, part 2: [updated to Year 373]

    Jarmish, Duke of Herchevar, Prince Royal
    His duchy didn’t exist before the Civil Wars, and is somewhat tenuous even today: a territorial inconvenience to Zanarvec, a standing invitation to land-embarrassed Trebidascu and the power-hungry electors on its southern border. So far, the 41-year-old Jarmish has managed to maneuver between hostile forces during the eight years of his reign, but it will be impossible to keep this up forever. Right now his strongest asset is the empire’s vested interest in keeping the eastern approaches to Crown Vale out of the hands of his rivals. His princely blood derives from two sources, and it’s an open question which is the less popular: his mother is from the Maritsa line, while his paternal grandfather is from the royal line of Lorthegnar.

    Karsigert, Duke of Hesjedal
    The process by which this march was elevated to duchy recently also handed Karsigert three gifts: a stretch of long-coveted land narrowing his western flank (along with a much larger parcel that, admittedly, widened his southwest one); the county of Gramanstadt–defected last year from Vaesthegnar–merged with his realm as a condition of the overall deal, thereby narrowing his southern flank; and both land and a release of the tension of having the former Duke of Bergeheim as a neighbor. Whether all this satisfies his ambition for the time being, or merely whets it, remains to be seen.

    Kulinda, Duchess of Tyrsreach, Countess of Telgyrsvegn
    Another beneficiary of the deal extended by Teover, proportionately the largest one: Tyrsreach tripled in size overnight. A longtime supporter of Tyrvenhagn (necessarily, since without their support Tyrsreach would have long since been overrun), she is not considered likely to turn her back on them now that her position is more secure. At 44, she should be able to look forward to plenty of time to handle any problems the assimilation of her new lands involve before her son (18) needs to worry about them.

    Manera, Archduchess of Gorendam, Elector
    The senior of the empire’s two archduchies, its ruler is also two generations senior to the other archduke. In her late fifties, Manera has managed to steer a steady if unimaginative course for nearly two decades of rule, contributing heavily to keeping the northwest of the empire stable–and in friendly hands. Not a particularly strong personality, some say she defers far too much to the Dukes Palatine of Tyrvenhagn.

    Meglaf, Duke of Malodbord, Viscount of Swerkerland, Prince Royal
    Once upon a time there was a moderately powerful duchy called Malodbord. Now there is again. The oldest living descendant of the last “legitimate” duke of Malodbord (his grandfather, the only child of Princess Angrid’s ill-starred second marriage)–though technically not the seniormost heir, as the late Duke Gerlach has children presumed to be still among the living–Meglaf, 30, was the person who fulfilled the conditions set forth by the new king of Althegnar for the duchy’s restoration, though he was not specifically named. As if Teover didn’t know exactly who it would fall to. Meglaf finds himself in the interesting position of being the vassal of someone who’s still in Bergeheim: Lirelet, Countess of Ravensthal, which his viscounty is a part of; she, however, has offered nothing but support for him in his new position. It doesn’t hurt him any that his wife, Nemlyrin, is the daughter of the younger sister of Grand Duke Drebham… though the tendency of men of his wife’s line to die in duels can’t make him totally comfortable about his eight-year-old son’s future.

    Milchiyeva, Duchess of Dravuchim, Elector, Princess Royal
    There’s a story here, but no one seems to be quite sure what it is. What’s certain is that the 33-year-old duchess detests her neighbor and dynastic rival of Vahir-Dascu far out of proportion to the norms of politics; the general assumption is that he jilted her for the princess he married… though given that Milchiyeva is a princess as well, the rationale for doing so must have been other than purely political, if true. It’s probably just as well for everyone else: the union of these two lands would create the largest and likely the most powerful realm in the empire, led by two of its most dynamic personalities–both of whom are electors. More important in terms of balance of power in the empire’s east, her brother is Minister of State Mazosyr–as if there weren’t already sufficient reasons for people to be uncomfortable with his appointment. Those particularly fond of finding ill omens further point out that their still-living mother is Anitresa, Viscountess of Darvingdel, daughter of the empire’s second monarch and consort to its third.

    Nagyleda, Duchess of Trebidascu, Princess Royal
    Barely larger than Evanstad, a wedge driven between–in part carved out of–Zanarvec and Vahir-Dascu, flanked by Herchevar and the marches facing warily at Kereszney… and almost as warily to their rear. Nagyleda is young (31), fairly new to her realm (five years), recently lost her husband in a duel, has a minor for an heir, and carries both Maritsa and Kereszney blood. Not a set of circumstances conducive to ease–her own, or anyone else’s. Tends to be regarded as mysterious, though this might be nothing more than a natural reflection of the caution her position demands of her.

    Naszatno, Marquis of Sangor, Prince Royal
    For thirteen of his 29 years, since the death of his grandfather, Naszatno has sat at the head of this smallest of all marches, poised precariously between Eszerthagn and Kereszney. Probably it has remained independent thus far due to family connections: a mother who is the older sister of the last emperor’s older sister, and who has been living in Kereszney for most of her son’s life. Well, that plus sufficient mineral wealth to keep his mountainous, agriculture-poor realm in mercenaries. Barely.

    Nezetsany, Marquis of Temes
    Next smallest after Sangor, but much wealthier and with marginally better neighbors (Zanarvec, Trebidascu, and a small slice of Cantrescu), Temes sits near the head of the Szeklari River and controls the bulk of the trade passing back and forth with Kereszney’s non-coastal regions. It would probably be quite comfortable were it not for the fact that its eastern counterpart, the duchy of Andelezyi, sees their rivalry as far more than merely commercial–though there’s no question Temes returns that regard (see their respective heraldries for evidence of this). By one of the more ludicrous series of connections in all of the empire’s genealogy, Temes and Sangor are fairly closely related, or at least a look at a family tree would make it seem: Naszatno’s grandmother was the first wife of the man whose second wife is Nezetsany’s mother-in-law–Princess Seligret, Countess of Rachevnar. His link is through her second marriage, however, not her first… so the twin duchesses over whom the War of the Infants was fought are only stepsisters-in-law. Not that anyone in his right mind would consider Seligret a good place to turn for support: most in the empire, were they to find themselves drowning, would disdain even to use her as a floatation device, no matter who threw her overboard for the purpose. Few think it likely Nezetsany’s young son will succeed his 34-year-old father; it seems almost certain that should Cantrescu collapse–something now held to be likely–the two remaining marches will be absorbed within the year, even should they manage to avoid preceding it.

    Rudimer, Duke Palatine of Tyrvenhagn, Governor of the Northmark, Elector
    Volumes could be–have been–written about the Dukes Palatine. They won their realm’s distinction in the Civil Wars by preserving the narrow northwestern corridor to the sea, at the mouth of a river system that touches a third of the empire’s duchies; they led the Curia in formulating and imposing the Electorate on the reduced empire; they were until recently the only duchy with borders facing two kingdoms, and the most aggressive two at that… though recent events have probably negated this threat for the foreseeable future. About the only thing they don’t have going for them is princely blood; an uncle of the present duke was the third emperor, but he was chosen in light of being married to the second empress’s daughter and designated successor, and he left behind no heirs of his own. While some wonder at the apparent disinclination of the line toward the throne, others complain that they already hold too much power–and that they have never hesitated to wield it. Briefly a Legate during the last months of emperor Nikovar’s life, he is responsible for accepting the sweeping deal offered by then-duke Teover of Rek (now king of Althegnar), and for seeing to much of the empire-internal actions that put the agreement into effect. At 47, with eleven years tenure, the charismatic and dynamic Rudiger is both a seasoned veteran at doing so and one who is likely to remain active for years to come.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  5. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

    DUKES and DUCHESSES, MARQUISES and MARCHIONESSES, part 3: [updated to Year 373]

    Siguving, Duchess of Sjaermund
    The 42-year matriarch of House Drachteving, recently elevated from marchioness, has ruled her lands for more than half her life. Her success at this, in the face of decidedly hostile neighbors in the (ex-)kingdom of Lorthegnar and more recently an openly expansionist one to the east within the empire, speaks volumes for her abilities and those of her husband Prince Teszlar (who has recently been named governor of Upper Dascu… a region nowhere near her own lands). Is noted for her temper–though in fact few people have seen her lose it, since most quail while she’s still passing through stern disapproval; is also noted for one of the empire’s finest dueling records–fourteen wins, no losses–and without killing any of her opponents, even when the terms allowed “to the death.” Her record of battlefield triumphs is similar, though she admits she has no clear idea how many she’s killed there. Is rumored to have once wrestled and pinned down a wyvern over a disagreement with her artist concerning how her heraldic arms ought to be rendered; she felt a live model would produce more satisfactory results. As it turned out, the wyvern couldn’t paint any better, so she decided to release both. When not lopping off heads with blunt objects (her preferred weapon is the mace), she can often be found pursuing sports (croquet and polo), mending and polishing her wardrobe, and, until recently, fretting about seeing her eldest daughter and heir married. Now she’s fretting about having succeeded.

    Svaendag, Duke of Juliberg
    At 57, even a decade and a half in power hasn’t sufficed to advance the opinion of “barely competent” most hold of him. Now he’s a duke with twice as much to handle. The eventual accession of his daughter, 37, married to an unpopular baron with whom she has failed to produce an heir, and seemingly no more competent than her father, has few looking forward to the day, either.

    Timeshir, Archduke of Eszerthagn, Prince Royal
    …Count of Eszertyvegn, Grichfeng and Merezhya, et cetera, et cetera. If there’s one thing heralds hate, it’s announcing this man, who personally owns roughly half the land in his duchy, far and away the most of any of the dukes. Having just ascended following his father’s election as emperor, this nineteen-year-old is the youngest of the dukes, a problem largely offset by the power structure his father built up during his reign… and, of course, his father is emperor, as well. How he handles the surprise of having the Electorate returned to his aunt Vengrith is yet to be seen. Is said to take after his father far more than he does his mother–which some expect will lead him into conflicts his father will feel obliged to extricate him from.

    Tesheven, Duke of Vahir-Dascu, Governor of the Eastmark, Elector
    Take Rudiger, divide by Evrefritz–or perhaps the other way around–and you might end up with this man. A year senior to his arch-rival Dravuchim, though he doesn’t dislike her with nearly the passion she displays toward him. Still, for open ambition, only the former duke of Eszerthagn–now emperor–could be said to have surpassed him. Nor does he give anything away to anyone when it comes to energetic pursuit of his goals. Whatever they are… and this is not always clear. His lands are awkwardly distributed, facing two openly hostile duchies, one dubiously ambivalent one, and an enigmatic fourth, plus the largest and (until recently) most resilient of the empire’s marches; to top it off, he now shares a border with Kereszney. Recent military actions have seen a considerable increase in his territory, at the expense of both Kereszney and the march of Cantrescu. His appointment as Governor of the Eastmark grants him considerable additional power over those areas he has demonstrated his greatest interest in. Some say if he didn’t have so many enemies, Tesheven would rule the empire; others like to point out that this might be why he has so many enemies. Married to a princess of the Helderau line; duchess Angrebuda is a sister-in-law, though this connection is of questionable utility at best.

    Ulritsya, Duchess of Zanarvec
    When it comes to awkward geography, though, this–the other realm to be formed from Hezelszeklar in the early days of the empire–is the hands-down winner. A condition its 32-year-old, recently widowed duchess would very much like to rectify, were she given a chance. With an uncertain Herchevar sprawled along one border and an aggressive Eszerthagn along the other, it seems more likely her energies will be relegated to surviving for now… though none who know her are willing to discount any possibility. Indeed, surprise might be the greatest advantage available to her at present.

    Uzilys, Duchess of Muretsu, Princess Royal
    At birth, she was sixteenth in line of succession to her duchy–proof that anyone can reach any position if only there are enough deaths in the family. Her irony–or her tragedy–is that she has apparently not been responsible for any of them. Another irony is that she also inherited her father’s lands, in a realm most of the empire knows only as a name on a map on the far side of the southern sea; there, she has been the Beyhira of Tizirbe twice as long as she has been a duchess here… though that’s saying little. And an even greater potential tragedy lies with her husband, a junior member of still another remote realm’s royal family, who was destined to be something less than a historical footnote until his wife suddenly found herself a double heiress, potentially able to provide him the resources to pursue ambitions of his own… which, if turned toward his native land, would require quite a few deaths in the family. New to her position (three years), very young (twenty), and a virtual stranger to the empire, Uzilys is as outwardly shy as her husband is brash and flamboyant; she is as yet too unknown for anyone to be able to judge whether this is her true personality or merely a manifestation of prudence in unfamiliar settings. As if she didn’t already have enough to overwhelm her, she is also Countess of Pechetrenu, in which capacity she is legalistically a vassal of the duchess of Trebidascu. Her lands have recently expanded somewhat courtesy of the resolution of duke Tesheven’s recent moves… which may or may not prove of benefit. She has started something of a trend for foreign fashions; it isn’t harming her fortunes to be able to work both ends of the trading routes. Uzilys’ closest living relations are outside the borders of even the old empire; the closest ones within it are Maritsa; her lands border Kereszney–where she also happens to be, at least in theory, Viscountess of Mighisantri, a realm she has yet to see. Don’t imagine this combination hasn’t elicited expressions of concern in some quarters.

    Wininga, Duchess of Gyrfalconsrest
    The empire’s newest ducal ruler, having ascended only two years ago. Young, uncertain, but enjoying the support of neighboring elder statesmen of Evanstad and Elgau… while they still live. Recently acquired considerable new lands courtesy of the late duchess of Alstein’s will. Married rather abruptly to a junior noble from her realm when her father began ailing; the match seems to be working well–though once it became obvious the suddenness of the ceremony was not due to pregnancy, many began to wonder if she’d have the chance to conceive an heir, since he was so often away at war.

    Zinitsa, Duchess of Kalaszlar
    In some ways the eastern counterpart to the Duchy Palatine–now sharing borders with two kingdoms–but in an even less enviable position considering it is cut off from the rest of the empire by Eszerthagn. Following the border shakeups of the Teover/Rudimer deal, Kalaszlar has absorbed the former march of Kurfsjin at its own request, increasing its lands by roughly twenty per cent. Zinitsa at least has the advantage of greater experience than her expansionist neighbor, having occupied her post for twelve of her forty-odd years. Is held to be a good administrator and a shrewd politician. Given her situation, she had better be.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  6. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

    THE EMPERORS AND THEIR ELECTIONS, part 1: [updated to Year 373]

    (1) The empire’s actual name is Athringen. However, nobody in the empire calls it anything other than “the empire.” People in the kingdoms tend to call it “Athringen”–without calling it an “empire,” since, of course, “the empire” is what their monarchs rule. Or so they say. In lands beyond the former borders of the First Imperium, the empire is usually referred to as “the Empire of Athringen,” unless a more formal title is called for by the occasion. Inasmuch as using that title invariably lengthens those occasions noticeably, it will be omitted here for the sake of brevity.
    (2) The reigns are numbered serially, regardless of whether the “emperor” is male or female; thus, Maritresa is the “Second Empress” even though she was the first empress to reign.
    (3) Since none of the names have been repeated yet, all emperors are redundantly “the First” with regards to the Second Imperium. When including rulers of the First Imperium–a practice rarely indulged in, and generally discouraged–one gets Corlemor II and Vidigyr III.


    Gesrygir of Erchevold (241-255)
    Died in the year 255. Remembered chiefly for being Palagyr’s father–the latter having turned out to be a tough act to precede.

    Palagyr of Erchevold, the Last Emperor of the First Imperium (255-292):
    Crowned in the year 255, when he was already 46 years old; reigned for 37 years. Married three times, was survived by six children. His first wife, Hildegrid of Harding, gave him two daughters separated by a son: Angrid, Herngest, and Clothilde. The second, Anatsina, gave him son Vandelyr and daughter Maritsana. The third, Ellith, gave him a single son, Bryndan. On his deathbed in the year 292, Palagyr willed his empire to be divided into four parts, with each son receiving one kingdom along the borders of the empire and each daughter a section of the inner half of the empire; the six siblings, or later on their heirs, would select one of the daughters’ husbands, or their descendants, to rule the whole. Anyone with half a brain could see this was a recipe for disaster, but apparently Palagyr had rather less than that left by that time.


    Four of the six siblings voted for themselves; the remaining two refused to vote for anyone. Soon all six were fighting a series of Civil Wars, crossing and recrossing the empire with wide paths of destruction, while the border regions slowly fell to outsiders or simply quit. After a while, the idea of quitting caught on, reaching the level of the kings, who by the year 309 had all declared their lands independent, even though none of them abandoned their claims to the empire. By the year 310, the empire was exhausted, and its dukes had had enough: they united in Curia and refused to support any of the warring parties any longer. Since the dukes controlled more than 80% of the empire between them, this put an end to all but the smallest-scale feuding between the royal houses; over the following two years, even that was brought under control. At the same time the dukes decided to cut the empire’s losses, and unofficial embassies to one after another of the kingdoms managed to arrange equally unofficial truces, which have unofficially held to the present day, except when they unofficially haven’t.

    Which still left them one emperor short of an empire. In 311, the Curia proposed a modification of the original idea of electing emperors: the three princesses or their heirs could still vote, but the three kings would lose theirs, being replaced by four of the senior dukes. Election would require five of the seven votes, not a simple majority, which meant the dukes would always need at least one of the royal lines to agree with them. This idea was accepted with minimal grace by the majority of the empire that wasn’t going to get to vote, as well as the juniormost of the royal lines (whose princess, Maritsana, had been assassinated midway through the war). The other two princesses were less than accommodating at first. But when the eldest and most assertive of the three, Angrid, conveniently succumbed to acute respiratory distress–the physicians who examined her body were nearly unanimous in linking it to the garrote found around her neck–the sole remaining original princess, Clothilde, became the first electioneer of the empire when she announced she’d concede so long as one of her many offspring was the first person selected, no doubt calculating that it would be easy enough for her progeny to arrange continued occupation. She was half right.


    Corlemor, 1st Emperor of the Second Imperium (312-324):
    And so the Second Imperium was born in what its official documents call Year 1, and pretty much everyone else calls Year 312. While what happens in the electoral chamber stays in the electoral chamber–by law–unofficial accounts suggest the debate went something along the lines of “Not the first one: that looks too much like she’s inheriting it, and she’s already getting her father’s duchy anyway; not the second one: he can inherit the electorate. The other five? Just throw their damn names in a hat and pick one out, already.” Whether or not this is true, or they’d merely worked their way down the list to a candidate they didn’t have a good reason to reject, Clothilde’s third child, Corlemor, was chosen to ascend to the newly-dusted-and-polished throne. At age 31, he wasn’t going to die immediately–not of old age, at least–but wasn’t too inexperienced, either. As it turned out, he was just what the empire needed: a steady hand backed by a mind that was neither particularly ambitious nor particularly imaginative. Though he only lived to be 43, the twelve years of his reign were sufficiently quiet that the empire could begin to recover. Much to the chagrin of his mother, he didn’t make much noise about being succeeded by his children, or even one of his close relations. Not that the electors were about to allow that to happen.

    Maritresa, 2nd Empress of the Second Imperium (324-330):
    The election in Year 324 came down to three prominent issues. First, no one trusted Angrid’s line on the throne, so they were out. Second, no one was yet willing to see the throne go to consecutive members of the same line, so Clothilde’s brood was out. And third, no one was willing to put the senior member of a line on the throne, any more than they were at the first election… so the choice fell on the second daughter from the Maritsa line. Born the same year the Last Emperor died, she came to the throne at age 33, and was sufficiently popular that when she became incurably ill a mere six years later, she was able to convince the electors to allow her daughter to succeed her. Almost.

    Anderulf, 3rd Emperor of the Second Imperium, and Anitresa (330-335):
    But not quite. Anitresa was only eighteen–a year younger than the empire itself–and had just married the previous year. Her husband, on the other hand, was a somewhat more experienced 27, and was the younger brother of the popular and powerful Palatine Duke of Tyrvenhagn… who was also an elector. So the electors made him emperor instead. His apparently accidental death while practicing swordplay five years later left the electors in an ambiguous situation: they had an empress, but she was officially an empress consort. They hadn’t allowed either of the previous two consorts to keep the throne. On the other hand, the throne was theoretically supposed to go to one of Palagyr’s descendants: since Anderulf had not been, the legalistic argument for seating him in the first place was based on Anitresa’s heritage, so by that right, she ought to remain. She solved the electors’ problems for them, however, when it became apparent her choice for a new husband was going to be the much less popular Duke of Dravuchim… who had just been made an elector two years earlier following a scandal involving the Grand Duchy of Meinterthagn and a plot to assist Lorthegnar in an invasion (a plot the existence of which many nobles remained, and remain, unconvinced). Under the circumstances, even he voted against Anitresa–effectively, against himself: he got to keep his electoral dignity and his princess (yes, she married him anyway)… the crown went back to the line of Clothilde. In the process, the precedent was set, albeit retroactively, that someone did not actually have to come from one of the royal lines in order to be elected emperor.

    Vidigyr, 4th Emperor of the Second Imperium (335-346):
    The crown even went back to a child of Clothilde–her fourth, Corlemor’s younger brother by two years. At age 53 when he ascended, his eleven years on the throne make him the oldest person to sit it. A natural longevity seems to be hereditary to that line: Clothilde did not die until the year after she saw a second of her children crowned. (Some claim she was merely too stubborn to die until she’d brought such a result about.) As with his brother’s reign, Vidigyr’s was comparatively quiet, so it was no great surprise that the electors chose to honor his wishes that his son succeed him.

    Vidugrant, 5th Emperor of the Second Imperium (346-348):
    It was the calm before the storm. Crowned in Year 346 at age 43, the unfortunate Vidugrant lasted a mere two years, barely long enough to make some unpopular appointments and offend a majority of the electors. His death in battle, and lack of direct heir, left the field wide open.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  7. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

    THE EMPERORS AND THEIR ELECTIONS, part 2: [updated to Year 373]

    Helgrid, 6th Empress of the Second Imperium (348-354):
    So it was that 37 years after the Civil Wars ended, a new generation of electors was finally forgiving enough to allow the crown to pass to Angrid’s line, to a daughter of her first child, Tulgrid. This time, it was definitely not the husband who was being elected: that was made quite clear, to avoid any future complications. Which may have been unfortunate, as Helgrid, already 55 when she ascended, occupied the throne for only six years, leaving behind as a dying wish that the succession pass to her son. Which was not about to happen for two reasons. First, while she was relatively moderate, her relations had done everything they could to seize all the power within reach while she was on the throne.

    Lazidru, 7th Emperor of the Second Imperium, and Ilyena (354):
    And second, because an irresistable temptation was dangled in front of them: the possibility of bringing one of the kingdoms back into the empire. Lazidru was the son of Loszemir, the second child of the first King of Kereszney. While he was not in direct line of succession, Kereszney had also adopted a variation on electing its kings, and it was entirely possible that he might succeed his aging cousin. Not only that, but he had married a rather more distant half-cousin who was of the Maritsa line (they had a great-grandfather in common, but not great-grandmothers), which meant that she was eligible to succeed to the throne in her own right, as would be her children. Events outpaced hopes, however: some of Lazidru’s more impetuous relations decided the crowns ought to be reunited immediately, and launched an unsanctioned invasion; Lazidru was captured, branded a traitor and executed while heading for the battlefield. Historians still debate which side he intended to fight on. No one even suggested keeping Ilyena on afterward.

    Tringard, 8th Emperor of the Second Imperium, and Heldegrin (354-355):
    The logical choice, it seemed to the electors, was to go back to Helgrid’s proposed heir, who they had by that time concluded was the person they ought to have gone with in the first place. Unfortunately, he was one of the early casualties in the war, rendering him unavailable. Instead, they chose an option that seemed to have worked well the first time around–they’d crown the husband of a princess, who in this case was also conveniently Helgrid’s next oldest child. He was also connected to Angrid in another way: his great-grandfather had been the brother of her second husband, the Duke of Malodbord. This didn’t mean he had royal blood: he was in fact one of the few high nobles in the empire who did not, after four generations of marrying back and forth. Which meant that for a second time the electors were placing someone on the throne who was not descended from Palagyr. That, however, turned out not to be a problem. What was a problem was that the Duchy of Malodbord had been absorbed by the Duke of Bergeheim some years previous… and that Tringard thought this would be the ideal opportunity to see it independent once more, with a relative of his choosing on its throne. He’d barely recovered from his coronation hangover–or maybe hadn’t–before he demanded the Duke of Bergeheim cough it up. The duke, whose line had almost acquired an electoral dignity a generation earlier (it was their annexation of Malodbord which convinced the Curia to bestow it elsewhere), felt that Tringard ought to be content with what he had, particularly since he wouldn’t have succeeded to the duchy even if it were still around. Tringard disagreed violently, called up what troops he could on short notice, didn’t notice that few of these came from the other dukes of his realm, and marched off to die the following year in the face of overwhelming force. Which might have led to yet another ambiguous situation for the electors, had the empress consort not once again resolved matters herself, in a repudiation of their prerogative to fill the throne that was both emphatic and irreversible… terminally so.


    A Shorter Interregnum:
    No one wanted to have another try at Angrid’s line–not then, perhaps not ever; then again, they weren’t quite sure they were ready to go back to Clothilde’s, either, and besides, the last one hadn’t worked out nearly as well as the first two. On the other hand, neither of the choices from their own ranks had turned out all that well, either… so the electors went back to the Maritsa, and prepared for their third coronation in two years. This was not an uncontroversial choice, for several reasons: to begin with, there was a growing perception that the line was becoming decadent. Then there was the fact that the last Maritsa to get near the throne had brought with her a husband who brought with him a war: in fact, those who have been keeping score will realize that Ilyena was not only still around, she had been crowned less than a year earlier. There wasn’t a chance in hell she was going to get it… she might still be upset about her husband’s death, after all. That, plus the fact that she’d gone back to Kereszney. Some pointed out that the line had rather too many ties with Kereszney for any of its members to present comfortable options. A few wags suggested that perhaps Prince Manchovar receive the throne: even a decade and a half ago he was considered one of the empire’s foremost doddering old fools, a title he has done everything in his power to secure sole possession of in the intervening years. The electors, who had previously never sat in conclave for above two days, were still debating the issues two months later, and Year 355 was rapidly becoming a test to see if the empire could run without an emperor at all. As nearly as can be determined from the politics of the day, three of the dukes, along with the Maritsa elector, finally managed to settle on a candidate; the problem was, election required five votes–and the other two royal lines, along with the Duke of Vahir-Dascu, flat-out refused to have anything to do with a Maritsa.

    Ultimately, fate handed them a solution–of sorts–in the form of a more or less fortuitous death. Specifically, that of one of their own: Nezeleth, Princess of Herzerichsborg and Elector from Clothilde’s line. She had not originally been in line to receive the dignity: by heredity, it should have gone to her older brother Kording. When their father Terens died Year 349, Kording’s claim was disallowed… some say because of a lack of mental capacity, though most agree that it had more to do with his well-attested practice of serial elopement. While this is not unheard of among high nobles, the overwhelming majority of them confine their excesses to bipeds; the remaining six electors unanimously concluded that not even an electoral dignity was going to dignify him. Besides, he had a perfectly acceptable sister. Two, actually, but one was all they needed, and luckily the elder, Nezeleth, was also the more personable. When she died, two individuals stepped forward to claim the dignity: her younger sister and her oldest son. There were precedents on both sides. Enter one of the most able politicians the Second Imperium has ever seen… who by coincidence also happened to be the father of the second candidate and husband of the deceased. He persuaded first the electors and then the Curia to accept the now-notorious Compromise of Hofchradel: Princess Vengrith would be compelled to decide whether she and her descendants would be allowed to remain eligible to sit the throne, or to retain the privilege of choosing who would. For one of Clothilde’s blood there was no choice to be made, and so the electorate–along with much of the family’s lands–passed to her nephew, the 21-year-old heir to the Duchy of Eszerthagn. Who promptly voted Maritsa and broke the deadlock.


    Ganivon, 9th Emperor of the Second Imperium (355-359):
    Maritsela’s second child ascended the throne at age 42, and began raising questions about his fitness almost immediately. Some of them, such as his habit of retaining every bottle he had drained of its wine, were easily confirmed following his demise; others, such as his insistence on exotic medications from faraway lands to treat his purported ailments, might remain forever unanswered. Questions about his military competency were laid to rest roughly the same time he was.

    Nikovar, 10th Emperor of the Second Imperium (359-372):
    The first four reigns of the Second Imperium had spanned 35 years… the five that followed them barely more than a third of that. For the fourth time in six years and the sixth time in just over a decade the electors found themselves in need of an emperor. Given the previous half-generation of turmoil, they were united in their opinion that whoever they pick ought to exhibit the greatest possible potential for being boring. A consensus was reached within an hour of sealing the door to the chamber, and the thone once more went back to the “safe” descendants of Clothilde. Until the final months of his life, Nikovar did not disappointed the electors’ hopes for him.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  8. Ravana

    Ravana Istar


    Alfyr II, King of Lorthegnar
    The first third of Lorthegnar’s history following independence saw a long, prosperous and stable reign; the years after have been a story of monarchs dying young and sons inheriting underage. Alfyr’s grandfather was killed when he was 27, and had been on the throne barely a year; the first seven years of his father Ulfrich’s reign were under a regency council. Then, after sixteen years of reigning in his own name, Ulfrich was slain at age 31, and his son in turn had to wait—fortunately for him, only two years—before he could ascend in the year 359. Even after thirteen years, Alfyr is still a young 28—a very young 28, according to most who know him; many fear his impetuosity and resentment of advice, especially from his former regents, will lead him to his own early demise, leaving behind an 11-year-old sole heir. He isn’t a bad king: he enjoys a fair amount of popularity, and the support of most of his nobles; he’s just unwilling to wait the passage of time to improve his opportunities. Alfyr’s mother is a relation of the Duke of Vygirsvegn, the sole realm in Vaesthegnar touching the Northwest Sea, and one separated from Lorthegnar by a mere twenty miles of intervening land belonging to the empire. Given recent events, it appears likely this connection has inspired the king to undertake a more daring adventure than recovering lost northern fiefs from the minor “kingdoms” of Torsig and Rikiver… indeed, Alfyr may have learned at least some lessons from the past, as both these realms are allies in this action.

    Asbjorn, Duke of Delharrow, Prince Royal
    The ruler of the third (perhaps second) most powerful duchy in Lorthegnar, one that tends to dominate the kingdom’s policies in the east, much as Kolving does the center and Rek the west. Asbjorn is the scion of one of the many lines descended from the morally-ambiguous, sexually-flexible and taste-challenged second son of the first King of Lorthegnar. His distant cousins are impossible to count (literally: no one knows exactly how many bastards Regilyr sired); legitimate ones include two other dukes in Lorthegnar and one in Kereszney. In his late 40s, a man who is notable for his prowess as a warrior, a reputation somewhat tarnished when he lost the County of Grichfeng to Eszerthagn in 371.

    Asrichar, Duke of Thanding
    If marriages count for anything—and, in dynastic politics, they do—Asrichar is a well-connected man. His wife is the younger sister of Erchegnest, third king of Vaesthegnar, and through whom his children bear royal blood; his sister-in-law was the wife of the current Duke of Rek, his second son and current heir Othmedrir is married to the daughter and heir of that duke, and his daughter Tresigrid is married to Vardugrim, Count of Heldenlach (Duchy of Vygirsvegn, in Vaesthegnar; Vardugrim is himself of a cadet branch of the line of the Dukes of Harding). Asrichar’s lands lie to the extreme southwest of what has ever been part of the empire; only a few stray fiefs that broke away to join the small neighboring “kingdom” of Turinga have ever been farther from the empire’s center. Thanding is a wealthy duchy, positioned at an advantage to receive trade from east and south across the sea. This position, however, often finds it isolated in terms of political influence—if it also finds it removed from most of the conflicts attendant upon same. At age 51, Asrichar has already seen his eldest son killed in battle, and is one of the stronger advocates for prosperous peace… a sentiment in which he often finds himself in a very small minority.

    Chiriya, Archduchess of Subhidetsu, Princess Royal, Heir Apparent of Queen Trezelyi
    The second daughter of Queen Trezelyi’s first marriage, and the queen’s eldest surviving child (her older sister died two years ago), Chiriya has suddenly found herself thrust into the position of archduchess, as well as being heir-apparent and designate to Kereszney. Not that she lacked preparation: first of all, no ruling line assumes all its children will survive; second, Trezelyi would never have allowed such a lack in any event—since it would be assumed that her grandchildren would end up ruling something thanks to marriage, at least; and third, because the throne of Kereszney is elective. That the arrangements of the electorate are such as to all but guarantee that the favored heir wins (the line holds five of ten votes directly, as well as four of the duchies that determine an “at-large” vote) is irrelevant: the line of Kereszney never believes in leaving matters to chance. At 48, Chiriya may well not see the throne herself if her mother decides to live much longer; it may pass to her 24-year-old daughter Keriya instead.

    Eligret, Princess Regnant of Butzheim and Rstimalvo
    The often-forgotten other sibling of Emperor Nikovar—his elder sister (by a year). She inherited the first of her principalities from her mother, the second from her father… who also held minor lands in Kereszney, which is where Eligret can generally be found these days, though unlike most nobles in such positions, she has not been dispossessed of her lands in the empire. Having the emperor for a kid brother seems to be good for some things. She generally presents the impression of feeling well quit of the politics within the empire’s borders; apparently, those of Kereszney haven’t intruded as much on her life.

    Erchevrant, King of Vaesthegnar
    The head of the line of Erchevold-Harding. Due to an accident of history the rulers of Vaesthegnar do not control the lands that gave their line its cognomen: the Duchy of Harding was passed on to the eldest of Erchegnar’s sons when his father was crowned, then passed on to his son before Erchegnar died; the crown went to Erchegnar’s second son, the new duke being only fourteen at the time. The throne has remained in direct descent ever since, Erchevrant being the fifth monarch, ascending in 369 at age 34, when illness carried off both his parents within weeks of one another. He has had to deal with a legacy of unpopularity left by his father, who fortunately for him only reigned six years, or the damage might have been much worse. Notable among his father’s questionable decisions was the elevation of Habichtsvegn, the duchy from which his wife had come, to archduchy, an act which alienated several other powerful dukes, not least the present holder of Harding. Erchevrant is regarded as being adequate, if barely so, in those personal qualities that make for good monarchs, and suffers from a lack of good advisers, neither of which positions him well to regain the affection of his subjects held by his long-reigning grandfather and great-grandfather.

    Haligar, Duke of Varaborn, Prince Royal
    Haligar inherited his duchy from his mother, and his royal blood from his father, the youngest of six children of the second king of Vaesthegnar. His wife, Terisa, is the daughter of the third (official) child of Regilyr of Lorthegnar, a man noteworthy primarily for complicating royal genealogies everywhere by siring seven legitimate children on two legitimate wives, and any number of others on less well-documented ones, prior to being killed by a jealous husband before his 45th birthday. Haligar’s lands are probably the largest of any high noble’s, though bordering as they do the (independent) Archduchy of Sveig, the less well-defined “unorganized territories” of Vaesthegnar, and those of a few independent tribes to the west, it’s sometimes difficult to tell precisely what constitutes part of his domain. His two children, eighteen and sixteen, are as yet unmarried, and he would very much like to see them both in positions that would provide them with a somewhat less dynamic inheritance. About the only options ruled out so far are alliances with his arch-rival Vygirsvegn to the north, or with the recently-elevated and much-resented line of Habichtsvegn far to his south. Even Sveig, to which his own line lost lands within painful living memory, would be preferable to him. At 41, he is not yet feeling a sense of urgency in the matter.

    Herngest VI, Duke of Harding, Prince Royal
    Descended from the eldest son of the second king of Vaesthegnar, 30-year-old Herngest occupies the unenviable position of being technically senior to the person who sits the kingdom’s throne (see Erchevrant). About as near as one can come to being a nonentity while still ruling what is probably the most powerful, and certainly the wealthiest, duchy in the kingdom. His mother is from the Helderau line, albeit about as far down in its seniority as it is possible to get (though perhaps importantly for future considerations, his mother’s older sister is Lord Chancellor of Athringen); his father inherited the duchy at age five, ruling it in name for forty years and in fact for thirty, before dying in 366. The present duke’s tenure has been largely unhappy: he never got along well with his wife, from the Kereszney line, and the same illness that killed the previous king and queen of Vaesthegnar also killed their younger child, after which she returned home with their only other child, a daughter, 12, who has yet to be named heir-apparent. (In Vaesthegnar it is hoped Herngest will remarry, though in fact he is not divorced, as the law does not provide for it.) The only other member of the Harding bloodline is Herngest’s younger sister, who is married to a prince a good ways down the succession of the neighboring “kingdom” of Turinga; it is unlikely she would be permitted to inherit the title with such a connection. Herngest has been criticized for leaning too heavily on the advice of his mother, a trait that has only intensified following his wife’s departure—which at least had the advantage of increasing his domestic tranquility, as the two women were known to loathe one another.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2011
  9. Ravana

    Ravana Istar


    Ilyena, Consort of Lazidru, Princess Royal
    This 51-year-old princess of two bloodlines has seen just about everything noble life can throw a person. Her father, Yascu, was the youngest son of Princess Maritsana, whom he never knew: she was assassinated when he was an infant, the first of Palagyr’s six heirs to die. Her mother, Lellista, was the youngest child of Maritsana’s half-brother Bryndan, who became the first king of Kereszney—but never saw its independence, himself assassinated six years before the Civil Wars ended, when Lellista was only three. (Perhaps this common background drew them together.) Lellista in turn died of unknown causes before Ilyena was an adult; her father remarried, and had two more children before himself dying under questionable circumstances in his mid-40s. Ilyena married a first cousin from Kereszney, Lazidru, who in a surprising turn of events was later elected Seventh Emperor of Athringen… and whose reign didn’t see the year out, due to an ill-timed and ill-advised attempt by kinsmen to reunify the two lands forcefully, leaving Ilyena an ex-empress and a widowed mother of two—at age 33. A year later she was a mother of one, her elder child killed in the turmoil attendant upon sorting out issues left behind by the invasion. She returned to Kereszney, remarried (to someone of little political consequence), had another child, and has lived very quietly since. Many, however, believe her quietness a poise, noting that she is far from a stranger at court; nor does she seem to lack contacts with her Maritsa kinsfolk. Many also suspect she harbors resentment for the generations-long tragedy of her family… and who could blame her? She is invariably described as outwardly calm, all but inscrutable… though her habit of excusing herself whenever public discussions of politics commence suggests that this might be a somewhat difficult façade to maintain under the wrong conditions. It does, however, prevent anybody from discovering her true feelings on issues of the day (or days long past)—and few things worry people in the empire more than an ex-monarch who doesn’t rail against contemporaries or circumstance.

    Kyrithanza, Archduchess of Eszerthagn, Princess Royal
    Perhaps misplaced in this category, in the sense that she doesn’t reside in another kingdom—but she certainly is from one. Kyrithanza is a granddaughter of Loszemir, the second of King Bryndan of Kereszney’s children; her uncle, Lazidru, was the empire’s shortest-reigning monarch, but the balance of her lineage possesses no particular distinctions, apart from her younger sister’s marriage to the Duke of Varad. This distinction could prove an important one in time, as that duchy, on the northwestern border of Kereszney, is only separated from Eszerthagn by the Duchy of Kalaszlar, and by all accounts the two sisters get along well. By most accounts, however, Kyrithanza does not get along well with her husband, so the extent to which she might be inclined to assist him closing this gap is an open question at best. In any event, they managed to cooperate to the extent of producing four children, though all were born before Evrefritz inherited the duchy from his father, a man remembered as one of the greatest political geniuses the empire has ever known, and for whom Kyrithanza seems to have held much greater affection than she does his heir. Though what may irk her most is that her husband doesn’t permit her the freedom to assist him in the ways she learned at her great-aunt’s court. Not as far as is apparent.…

    Lodeszanyr, Viceroy of Daneshvar, Prince Royal
    You need to look pretty far down the Kereszney family tree to find this 40-year-old prince; only his younger brother Radumyr (and their children) are lower in seniority. However, the line rewards capability with responsibility, and, in geographical terms, no single noble has more: the Crown Province of Daneshvar is more than twice the size of the average duchy. It is also sparsely populated—a favored description being “miles and miles of nothing but miles and miles”—and, owing to a lack of natural features to prevent neighboring tribesmen from riding into it, its borders tend to be flexible—to put it mildly. What Kereszney cannot control, it has historically assimilated, and Lodeszanyr has aggressively forged alliances with (and manipulated) his neighbors, while borrowing their tactics and occasionally manpower to upgrade what is locally available. Being in the outback hasn’t prevented this prince from performing his dynastic duties, either: he’s married to Ilunibel, daughter of the Third Emperor, Anderulf and his still-living consort, Anitresa, Princess of Darvingdel; she in turn is first cousin to the Duchess of Dravuchim and Prince Mazosyr, the empire’s Minister of State. Nor did his brother fare worse: he’s married to the youngest sister of the recently-deceased head of the Maritsa line and aunt of its ten-year-old heir apparent. It is said that Lodeszanyr and Mazosyr are particular friends, sharing a common interest in finding creative ways to neutralize external threats to their respective realms—a trait in which both are unquestionably competent. There is little doubt that Lodeszanyr would like to see his children vested with a greater patrimony than his present position allows: the viceroyalty is appointive.

    Radobrecht, Archuke of Habichtsvegn
    When his aunt’s husband became King of Vaesthegnar, this noble found himself suddenly on the fast track toward the greater influence his line had long sought: within a year, he had received two viscounties detached from the neighboring Duchy of Sondehagn, a dynastic rival, on the flimsiest of pretenses, and been raised from duke to archduke—the only one in the kingdom. He has provided good return on the investment, securing the kingdom’s southern border with the empire from incursion and even winning away the odd parcel of land, as well as providing fighting forces for actions throughout the realm and points beyond—the increased means at his disposal allowing him to build his long-harried but as a result highly-experienced troops from a precariously-poised defense into an offense equal to any it’s had to contend with in recent years. The archduchy does not, however, depend on its military for its success: generations of carefully-selected marriages have brought it, if not direct power, at least extensive influence in a variety of courts both within the confines of the former empire as well as several states around the Southern Sea which are often overlooked in the inward focus of the empire and its ex-holdings. If there’s one thing this archduke, or his line, lacks, it’s royal blood: apart from his aunt’s descendants, it has no royal connections. Yet.

    Teover, Duke of Rek, Prince Royal
    A charming man, if overly fond of circumlocutious utterances and big words. In his mid-40s. Widely held to be the power—or at least the brains—behind the throne of Lorthegnar; he was part of the regency council for Lorthegnar’s present king. Always treats his foes graciously… once they’ve surrendered. His infantry formations command the respect even of his neighbor Tyrvenhagn, which is saying quite a bit, though of late he has been demonstrating greater interest in naval affairs than military ones. Never met an innovation he wasn’t willing to try. When not engaged in one or another of these pursuits, he has often served as the unofficial “ambassador” of Lorthegnar to the empire (there are no “official” ones: you can’t send an ambassador to “your own” country, after all). Unusually for a man of his position, his royal blood derives not from his homelands, but from the line of Helderau: he’s more closely related to the current emperor than to his own monarch (who in fact he is not related to at all by blood, and only very distantly by marriage)… which, perhaps, aided his diplomatic efforts. A widower, his daughter and heir Teriving is the wife of the current heir of the Duke of Thanding (in Vaesthegnar); one younger son, Teodlyr, holds a command in Lorthegnar’s navy. His younger sister, Seringa, is the wife of the Duke of Kolving (in Lorthegnar).

    Trezelyi, Queen of Kereszney
    King Bryndan, the youngest of Palagyr’s six children, died during the Civil Wars; since then, Kereszney has only had two rulers—his eldest daughter, Kysthanza, who sat the throne for five decades, and her eldest daughter, Trezelyi, who has occupied it the past fifteen years. At age 67, it’s unlikely her reign will last much longer; she’s only a year younger now than her mother was when she passed. As her mother was, Trezelyi is a brilliant politician, and in at least one factor she has exceeded her parent: whereas Kysthanza forged the power of her line through three dynastic marriages, Trezelyi is on her fourth. (To be fair, the most recent one brought no additional power with it; apparently she felt that in her advancing years she could allow herself to marry someone she liked instead.) Of her five surviving children, three are themselves dukes or duchesses who inherited their realms from their fathers… and Trezelyi holds two more ducal titles and a principality directly: if all but one heir of her line were to be wiped out, that last survivor would personally rule almost 50% of the kingdom. Given that she also has eleven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, this isn’t too likely to occur. She would probably be regarded as the original Dragon Lady if not for her mother, and it seems likely she’s passed this quality on to her own heir-designate, Chiriya, the second of her seven children.
    Last edited: Dec 23, 2011
  10. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

    THE HEADS OF THE PRINCELY LINES [updated to Year 373]

    Ilga, Princess Regnant of Helderau
    The senior member of the senior royal line, Ilga, 60, has led her house for nineteen frustrating years, following the death of her mother, Empress Helgrid–frustrating first in the other Electors’ refusal to confirm her brother, Gunver, as the next emperor, then seeing him killed in the fiasco following Lazidru’s election, then seeing her younger sister’s husband elected with her sister as consort, then seeing him die in a vain attempt to free Malodbord from the Duchy of Bergeheim, followed by her sister’s suicide upon news of his death. All of which took place over the course of less than a year. Then came the election of an ill-suited Maritsa compromise candidate, then another long-reigning Clothildan, Nikovar. Ilga is keenly aware–as, indeed, her entire line is–of the fact that only two of the eleven reigns in the Second Imperium have gone to Helderau candidates, for a combined total of less than seven of its sixty years of existence. She has no intention of allowing the next emperor to be anyone other than a Helderau. Of course, she’s only one of the seven people who has a direct say in the matter. What she might do about it indirectly… is a topic of intense speculation. She is known to operate an extensive and competent spy network, one reaching into all the major courts of the empire and beyond–or, rather, believed to: if they were “known,” they could hardly be called “competent.” She is also known to rule her own line with an iron fist, has shown herself quite willing to remove princes from their positions and replace them with others she deems more fit, and is suspected of having taken in-house discipline to extremes more than once–though if so, no one has been able to prove the deaths were anything other than natural.

    Nestreza, Regent of Prince Regnant-Apparent Sazomir of Maritsa
    For 51 years–from the assassination of its founder, Maritsana, during the Civil Wars–this line was led by the strong and popular Maritsela; the next sixteen saw her equally strong and almost as popular daughter Marilesa at its head… though many observers began to detect signs of decadency among the line that was the first to support the Second Imperium. Four years ago, Marilesa died, and the leadership passed to her son, Zadrumir, who was, if more introverted, at least considered competent. Two years later, at age 42, he was dead–widely believed to have been assassinated–leaving behind as heir a nine-year-old son from his second marriage. The internal affairs of each line being governed by its own rules, the line accepted his mother Nestreza’s claim to regency for the lad, even though she herself was not from the line (indeed, had no royal blood at all)–an act considered incomprehensible by the other two royal lines, and taken to be further evidence of the line’s degeneration. To date, Nestreza has barely had time to have any impact on the line’s fortunes or conduct: she is still trying to secure her son’s position against threats real or imagined. Only 29 years old, she is widely regarded as less manipulator than manipulated, particularly by the strong interconnections the Maritsa line has with that of Kereszney; there are no few people outside it who wish the leadership had passed to someone better known and with firmer ties to the empire… even if that had left it in the hands of the doddering Prince Manchovar, who has grandchildren older than the regent. She has recently received approval from the empire for the betrothal of her son to Princess Siri, and for his early wedding and accession to take place when he reaches the age of 13 in two years’ time.

    Vengrith, Princess Regnant of Herzerik
    No matter how frustrating Ilga’s tenure as head of her line has been, it can’t begin to equal that of Vengrith: after all, Ilga still had an Electoral vote to exercise. When Vengrith’s father died, the dignity technically should have passed to his eldest child; however, the latter was ruled incompetent to exercise such responsibility by the other Electors–with the full agreement of the rest of his line. So the dignity passed instead to Vengrith’s sister, Nezeleth… who had, however, married a duke. This was normal dynastic politics; what was not normal was for a duke to head a princely line… so when Nezeleth died, Vengrith claimed the leadership and dignity for herself, over her nephew, who would one day inherit Eszerthagn. Predictably enough, the young heir and his ducal parent objected, and managed to convince the Curia and the other Electors to support what became known as the Compromise of Hofchradel: Vengrith could retain the leadership of her line, or the dignity, but not both. It surprised few that she chose the former. That was eighteen years ago; much of the time since then has been spent in damage control mode, trying to rebuild the house’s fortunes and influence… goals that have been, if not aided, then at least not hindered by having a somewhat distant cousin on the throne for most of that time. And which have been, if not hindered then at least not aided, by her relatively poor political skills, nor her line’s diminishing control over its original lands. The surprise restoration of the Electorate following emperor Evrefritz’s accession–but not of the lands also lost in the Compromise–is more likely to assuage Vengrith’s heirs than it is her. Now 66, increasingly short-tempered and perennially bitter, Vengrith may not live to see the next election and exercise her restored vote… though given the longevity of most of its members, she can’t be counted out, either.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
  11. Ravana

    Ravana Istar

    GOVERNORS [updated to Year 373]

    Regions of the Empire (as reapportioned) and their Governors:
    the Daarwold: Arsirich
    the Eastmark: Tesheven
    the Eastern Riding: Mistimir
    Funfberg-Turingdor: Anitresa
    Lower Dascu: Waldestan
    Neugau: Feldra
    the Northmark: Rudimer
    the Northern Riding: Osirmund
    Upper Dascu: Teszlar
    the Westmark: Berichart

    Anitresa, Governor of Funfberg-Turingdor, Princess-Viscountess of Darvingdel [Maritsa]
    No appointment of the new emperor’s administration was more astonishing than this one: it marks the first time a former imperial consort has been named to high office in the empire. There is little question that the right to fill this seat was demanded by the Maritsa line following the merger of the old region of Maritsdor–which includes the bulk of Maritsa lands and constitutes its base of power–with that of the neighboring Funfberg. Particularly in light of the fact that the previous governor of the Funfberg was from the same line as the new (as well as the previous) emperor… though it’s also likely Evrefritz felt the elimination of those whose loyalty was first to his predecessor was itself not a bad thing. The dynamic and still very much active 60-year-old princess was widely believed to have been the settled choice to cast her line’s electoral vote in Evrefritz’s election prior to the “Maritsa surprise,” and that it was she who engineered–indeed, insisted upon–the last-minute substitution of Princess Siri. Herself the daughter of the popular Second Empress, Maritresa, her immediate family alone constitutes a force all by itself in imperial politics: her daughter by the Third Emperor, Anderulf (a member of the Tyrvenhagn line: Rudimer is her nephew), is Ilunibel, who was considered a strong candidate during the recent election and who is married to the viceroy of Kereszney’s largest province; her children by her second marriage are Milchiyeva, Duchess of Dravuchim and Mazosyr, Minister of State; her younger sister’s son and heir Teszlar has been newly named to a governorship of his own.

    Arsirich, Governor of the Daarwold: see Duke of Venden.

    Berichart, Governor of the Westmark, Viscount of Sarchsignen
    The sort of man who’d tell Charlemagne to stop goofing off and Richard I to grow a pair. The previous emperor’s right-hand-hatchetman. Rumor has it he has only two weaknesses, and that he’s yet to discover either of them. Formerly emperor Nikovar’s most intimidating Legate, his appointment to the post of Governor of the Westmark startled many, particularly those who had been looking forward to his retirement from the larger affairs of the empire. The governorship was almost certainly a capitulation granted to secure Evrefritz’s election, though to whom remains uncertain. What does seem certain is that he’ll bring his usual energy to this border region… a fact that those uncomfortable with the newly-merged Kingdom of Althegnar are beginning to realize might be a good thing after all.

    Feldra, Governor of Neugau, Count of Cunedor
    One of only two governors under Nikovar to retain her position following the reduction and redistribution of the regions (the other was Duke Palatine Rudimer). Cunedor has long been regarded as a balance to Maritsa power in the lands near the center of the empire–it was initially created from their lands; the retention of Feldra may have been motivated by this consideration. This governorship’s influence has been vastly expanded following the reapportionment of the regions, as it received the bulk of the old region of Saxachar (whose former governor, Duke Arsirich, has been transferred to the Daarwold). Feldra is regarded as a stable and sober administrator, one who has managed to make a governorship mean something in spite of the convoluted and contradictory lines of authority within the empire.

    Mistimir, Governor of the Eastern Riding, Prince-Viscount of Mezesnash [Maritsa]
    This position had been empty since the death of the duchess of Zanarvec’s husband a couple years back. The 56-year-old prince is regarded as one of the less remarkable members of his line–though, given the remarks usually made about Maritsas, this is generally held to be a good thing.

    Osirmund of Eszerthagn, Governor of the Northern Riding, Prince Royal [Erchevold-Herzerik]
    The younger brother of Emperor Evrefritz, this 36-year-old prince is expected to provide a solid base of support for the new emperor’s reign, as well as to his young nephew Timeshir, the new archduke of Eszerthagn.

    Rudimer, Governor of the Northmark: see Duke Palatine of Tyrvenhagn.

    Tesheven, Governor of the Eastmark: see Duke of Vahir-Dascu.

    Teszlar, Governor of Upper Dascu, Prince-Baron of Hintersturming [Maritsa]
    A surprising appointment, particularly in light of the fact that he was replacing another Maritsa in the same position; believed to have been a capitulation, though if so it is unclear who might have requested the change. A noted authority on defensive construction, he may be better known as the husband of former marchioness, now Duchess Siguving of Sjaermund.

    Waldestan, Governor of Lower Dascu, Count Palatine of Markovar
    That the former governor of this region, Lord Admiral Zerich, was going to be replaced was all but a foregone conclusion when Evrefritz took the throne: there had been too much recent conflict between the two men. The appointment of Waldestan–held to be a solid choice by most–is widely viewed as move to provide balance in the south, just as his county was created to drive a wedge between the two halves of the old duchy of Saxachar following the War of the Infants. The governorship should serve to improve Waldestan’s normally precarious position as lord of a buffer state.
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 11, 2017
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