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Marriage of Princess Eleanor
The story of Her Highness Princess Alexis starts with the her mother's Birthday Ball. On the 23rd day of Menderal 139, a Ball was held to celebrate Princess Eleanor's 18th Birthday. The Ball was held in the Archimandrite's Hall of Munificent Hospitality in the Temple of Hahn in Linrodeth. The Hall had been newly redecorated in white and gold and echoed to the sound of the Royal Court and the music of the Master Bards. Attending the ball were several potential suitors for her hand in marriage.
Princess Eleanor had instructed her lady-in-waiting, Lady Caroline, to discover the most biddable and/or desperate of her suitors, so that the Princess could intervene with her father to ensure that the right man was selected as her official suitor. Laedy Caroline did this by embarassing all the suitors, pointing out, for example, Duke Alexander Calverin of Cascorach's boorish manners and ridiculing Prince Pharos of Kerun's Gift as inappropriate. However with many of the attendees being more interested in trade, rather than the affairs of the Royal Court, it soon became obvious that the Princess would have been struggling to assert her power and authority anywhere other than in the kingdom of Athion and she soon settled on Duke Alexander as being the one best placed to give her own power base to rival those of her siblings and, in particular, that of Prince Edward (her elder brother) who already had established a power base in the City of Salvoyn. She married the Duke at Midsummer 140.
Of those attending, three were Princes of foreign lands unused to the political ways of the Kingdom of Athion. Princes Konrad (of Garth), Pharos (of Kerun) and Khalid (of Orissa) were all outplayed by Duke Alexander Calverin of Cascorach. Indeed, such was the politcal activities that Prince Konrad was considering risking a war with Athion by kidnapping the Princess, while Pharos and Khalid did end up at war (albeit with each other rather than with Athion). Despite the murder of a Linrodeth Councillor, Thomas Castlemaine (who, by powers unknown, ended up being an official suitor for the Princess's hand), the Duke married Princess Eleanor at Midsummer 140.
The events at that ball are somewhat confused. Several events point to the actions of nefarious powers to manipulate the affair. The lapdog of Princess Eleanor's lady-in-waiting, Lady Caroline, suffered a strange illness and, some suggest, was never seen again after a strange parchment was found on its sickbed accompanied by what can only be described as a strange ritual from behind the locked door of the sickroom that was overheard by several observers. Later on during the ball Lady Caroline and Jan Ostern has to act to prevent another strange ritual in the gardens of the Temple of Hahn itself from taking place. The ritual had advanced far enough though to cause Princess Eleanor to retire early to her rooms.
The plots and schemes continued after the Birthday Ball and even caused the death of a prominent Linrodeth Councillor, Thomas Castlemaine, who had been also courting the Princess. As a result, Princess Eleanor married Duke Alexander Calverin at Midsummer 140.
The Ball was also the first opportunity for many of the attendees to meet for many years, the Birthday Ball devolved in a farce as politics and trade ended up taking priority over the celebrations and courting of the Princess' Hand. It is said that the Temple of Hahn did best out of the event from all the contracts that needed to be finalised during the event. Despite (or, perhaps, because of) the politicing the Princes of two of the attendees, Kerun and Orissa, ended up at war over the event. In fact, the most promising of the Princess' suitors turned out to be someone who didn't even attend the ball - Councillor Thomas Castlemaine of Linrodeth. Sadly, though, the brave councillor was out of his league and was murdered within the year. All others having left the field, the remaining suitor, Duke Alexander Calverin, married Princess Eleanor at Midsummer 140.
Birth of Alexis
Following her Marriage, Princess Eleanor and Duke Alexander travelled to Cascorach where the Princess immediately started to make an impact on governance of the Duchy, for example by recalling the Guild Charters then in operation in Cascorach and replacing the guild structures by a trio of new, more biddable, guilds. The City Watch was then replaced by a new formation of the army, the First Cascorach Infantry Regiment. The resulting confusion was then exploited by the neighbouring City State of Adaqua, which lies to the south of Cascorach over the Gelt Mountains.
All this preceeded the announcement that the Princess was now expecting her first child. The Temple of Hahn then announced that Edward de Belleme was to be appointed as Plenipotentairy of Cascorach and he was dispatched to Cascorach complete with a full company of Knights Templar. This addition to the Duchy's military forces, combined with a lessening of attacks by Gelt raiding parties resulted in a rout of the attacking Adaquan forces. Combined with excellent summer and autumn weather, the resulting gathering of the harvest was superb. With potents this good, it was entirely unsurprising that the birth of Princess Alexis Emma was an easy one and was the cause of yet another major celebration in Cascorach.
At the same time it was announced that Princess Eleanor was expecting her child. In a desperate attempt to change the portents, the Temple
of Hahn sent out a new plentipotentairy to the City of Cascorach. However this merely resulted in even worse
'Ware the comming of the empty
one for he brings tidings of terror to the Red Man. Princess Eleanor then arranged a truce with the Gelt
Barbarians (presuming involving promises of future behaviour), resulting in many sacrificies in the pass in between Cascorach and Adaqua
in return for the life of Sir Gawain Carleon. Princess Alexis was then born in the new year.
Despite all this confusion, Princess Alexis Emma was born in Cascorach on Eighthday Thirdweek of Skelern 142.
Princess Eleanor undertook to give her daughter the best possible education. Taking advantage of the many learned people around her (including the Astrologer Royal), and the presence of many senior priests of the major religions, Princess Eleanor ensured that her daughter received a very broad appreciation of the world and its inhabitants.
Princess Eleanor immediately set about giving her daughter an education about the darker aspects of the world, including a substantial contribution from Goodgulf, the Astrologer Royal who Princess Eleanor had woven into her entourage. Goodgulf took full advantage of the possibilities this presented, binding Alexis into many of his rituals, including an exploration, exploitation and reactivation of magical locations in the Kingdom of Athion.
Substitution of an Imposter
However, one curious incident soon after the birth leads to the conclusion that the girl now posing as Princess Alexis is an imposter. Early on in her education while her family were visiting Linrodeth, Princess Alexis went missing. Subsequently the Astrologer claimed that Princess Alexis had climbed into his caravan while he was conducting a mapping expedition outside of the city. A young girl resembling Alexis returned to the City, but no definitive proof that it was the young Princess was ever presented. Thus, one is forced to conclude that a substitution was made and the girl who now poses as the Princess is not who she claims to be. It is even possible that there is a whole suite of imposters being used by nefarious powers.
Murder of King Edmund Carlingas
The basic facts of the murder of King Edmund are not disputed. Following the appointment of Prince Kieran as Prince of Task, a ceremony to formalise the appointment was organised in the great Hall of Nyskilde. Prince Kieran entered the hall surrounded by a bodyguard of knights. As King Edmund rose to greet his son, archers positioned in the balcony of the Hall, fatally shot the King and landed several other arrows in the King's entourage, felling Queen Emma, Lords Dubhainn, Grenville and Niceilin. Arnor Samhach, Plenipotentairy of Cascorach and Princess Kira Karabaek of the Noord along with many others were all slain.
This act of Regicide was clearly conducted to save the Kingdom of Athion from the fate that was awaiting it. By assassinating the King and his important cronies and by implicating Prince Kieran in the affair; the plotters acted to protect Athion from the activities of the northern lords which were threatening to overwhelm the Kingdom. With Crown Prince Edward being unable to attend the ceremony due to his duties in the south (and, in particular, continuing to subdue the Gelt tribes in the mountains), he was the legimate heir to the Throne and it was only the separate rebellion of Prince Kieran and Princess Eleanor that plunged Athion into civil war.
Starting with this act of Regicide, the kingdom of Athion was plunged into a vicious civil war. The plotters then ensured that Crown Prince Edward was seduced by those wanting the return of the dark powers of Resh into trying to intervene in the dispute between Prince Kieran and the remains of his father's Court. Without a central unifying power, the civil war spiralled out of anyone's control; sweeping up the various Temples into its conflict and even setting City against City.
The archers had been placed and controlled by the dark powers led by the hidden temple of Resh. These not only organised the murder but ensured that the events were presented in such a way so that Crown Prince Edward immediately assumed that his brother, Prince Kieran, was behind the regicide and, presumably, was attempting to take over the Kingdom. As a result Crown Prince Edward was forced to intervene and the Kingdom of Athion dissolved into Civil War.
The reason behind the Regicide is much more complicated that one might imagine. The King and his entourage had concluded that the Kingdom needed to be broken up in order to save it from the crushing order that was being steadily imposed by the Hahnite hierarchy and, in a desperate bid to stop this, his Majesty concluded that the best way to save the Kingdom was to, in effect, destroy it. He ensured that a Civil War would break out by providing a different narative to each of his children, but he also ensured that the story each believed would exclude the Hanhites from any resulting settlement. Although this plan largely succeeded, the Hanhnites did manage to introduce the concept of a evil Heresy into the politics of the War, encouraging the partcipipants to rely on the Temple for guidance and support.
The death of King Edmund is the most tragic part of the whole civil war, albeit the trigger for it. The King's own bodyguard force and his chief spymaster, Lord D'Saarn, had discovered that a cult of necromancers and devil worshippers had established a plot to overthrow both the King and the those religious forces responsible for ensuring the wellbeing of the general good of the Kingdom of Athion. As a result, a force of King's Rangers and loyal Knights, including those surrounding Crown Prince Edward and Kieran had long suspected that the investiture of Prince Kieran would be the focus of the Reshites to disrupt the Kingdom. Tragically the attempt to force the issue backfired and resulted in many of the troops in the chamber succumbing to the Reshite plot and turning the event into a massacre. The resulting confusion, aided and abetted by deliberate misinterpretations by the Reshites, led to the once friendly Brotherhood between Kieran and Edward devolving to the civil war.
The Civil War
Over the following years, the civil war grew to encompass the entire Kingdom and providing opportunities for foreign powers to intervene. In the north, Nyskilde was invaded and sacked by the Norse of the Western Isles. In the eastern city of Eresan, Prince Kieran established a power base and made it his home city. In the south, Princess Eleanor was able to keep the City intact and defended from both Gelt barbarians and from the City States of Adaqua and Laurea while Crown Prince Edward held Salvoyn. However a worse fate befell Linrodeth, with no royal faction to help defend it, Princess Selina of the City State of Kerun invaded and conquered the city.
During this period Princess Alexis remained with her Mother in Cascorach gaining educatioon and training from that Household and its entourage, including further time with the Astrologer Royal and time with the temples based in the area including the main Brynette Temple.
Betrothal to Prince Sikander Edmund Caralingas
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Last updated: May 17, 2017 at 13:50 pm
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