King Alusine the Great

vintage-1636248When Alarion the First united the petty kingdoms of Emparia, he created a realm that would endure for centuries under the rule of his heirs, but by the last years of the Second Epoch his dynasty had declined, and the kingdom with it.

The last of the Tyron kings, Charles II, had several ambitious sons, and with the king’s declining health, they fought over the succession, culminating in the Night of Bloody Blades, where a younger son’s attempted coup went horribly wrong. When the dust settled the king and all his legitimate offspring were dead by each other’s hands. All that remained was the king’s infant granddaughter, Varana, and a bastard, Bohemund Highcrown, Duke of Oldharbour. Rather than claim the throne himself, Bohemund installed his infant niece, married her to his brother-in-law Edric Ran, and ruled through her.

Queen Varana died a few decades later, a little more than a puppet on the throne, and her son, Alusine Ran-Tyron, ascended to the throne. Much to Lord Highcrown’s distaste, Alusine refused to rule in the same way as his mother and chafed against the duke’s control. The young king sought new allies, and when the old guard of the nobility proved too stubborn to support his ambitious goals of reform, he decided to create new nobility.

Sir Beran Genio was a bastard-born Leridian knight of Qardleean descent, but had been pivotal in the demise of the archmage Ralur. Alusine brought him to Emparia, made him and earl, and went even further, forging bonds of marriage between them. The other nobility scorned the upstart, but none of this dissuaded Alusine from his path.

Alusine’s reign lasted for more than sixty years and though tragedy and loss were to strike him on more than one occasion, he was so well-loved and respected by his subjects that by the end of his reign, they had dubbed him “Alusine the Great”.

When the old king finally died it was truly the end of an era, a lost Golden Age that Emparians would speak wistfully of for centuries to come.