Legacy of Heroes
Launhym - Royal Family
The foremost power in Launhym is, in theory, the King. Events of the past forty years have somewhat eroded that tradition though. The royal family of Launhym is divided as much as the country itself.
King Almagaid – His Highness King Almagaid Ailesh the First, Ruler of Launhym, Herald of Light – Almagaid has a rather unfortunate past. His father died when he was very young and his mother entered a convent rather than raise him. His steward was Murchad the Stricken, whom no matter how one feels about his role in Launhym’s affairs, did not ensure that Almagaid received the best education during his youth.
Right before he ascended the throne, Murchad made peace with the warring orcs, depriving Almagaid with the opportunity to prove himself. He was soon perceived as a figurehead and people went to Murchad with affairs of state. Almagaid formed an alliance with Calisia, charged Murchad with necromancy, forced him into hiding, and publicly executed (or ran off) all noblemen allied with Murchad. Almagaid then went on to cement his alliance with Calisia by marrying Princess Mirabel Flanries and inviting the Calisian barons in to take the place of the noblemen he had executed.
Years later the orcs stated that the treaty they had signed with Murchad expired and they would only renegotiate with Murchad. Impossible, as Almagaid had forced him into retreat and branded him a traitorous necromancer. War would eventually resume, but not before Almagaid had encouraged the Church of the Light to build places of worship inside his kingdom. There had been sympathies to the Light before, notably with Almagaid’s mother, but this was the first time the Church had been permitted official entry. This is how Almagaid received the title “Herald of Light” from the church.
Almagaid held off the orcs for a few years: first with bribes of grain and treasure, then with land. He sent his only daughter to the Remarian Empire to study wizardry, which was viewed negatively by many because of Launhymian prejudice against even scholarly magic. Finally, the orcs demanded that the king surrender his lands to them. Almagaid refused, starting the first serious human-orc conflict in thirty-five years.
Almagaid is seen as a weak king, and politically this is true. He has few true allies, most are allied to him out of convenience or because they think Almagaid can help them rise to power. Almagaid’s formal knowledge of almost any topic is minimal. He is self-taught and is forced to draw from the expertise of a large number of advisers. He speaks only Launhymian but can read a few Remarian words and phrases with difficulty.
However, he is brave and just in his own fashion. Nobody doubts his courage or conviction and he is known to put Launhym first above all. He has stated that he wants nothing more than for Launhym to be a strong and prosperous kingdom. The question people ask is, “his goals are noble, but is he the kind of man who is able to do the job?”
Queen Mirabel – Her Highness Mirabel Flanries Ailesh the Radiant, Duchess of Narbonne – Mirabel’s title as the Duchess of Narbonne is an honorary one that is always given to the first daughter of the Calisian king but she was known as “the radiant” from a very early age (the Narbonne barony was conquered and merged with Talleseu centuries ago). Her beauty and enthusiasm inspired many a Calisian knight to attempt to win her favour at tourneys. She spent the flower of her youth attending balls and being introduced to the finest men in Calisia and men of high station from Remaria and “Greater Remaria.” Her every gesture and look hinted at promises that made men trip over each other in attempts to please her but her words gave away nothing. She could have been wife to one of the Council of Torok in the empire, her father was persuaded by Almagaid to make her queen of Launhym.
The decision was the obvious one. If Mirabel was clever enough, she could sow the seeds that would make Launhym part of Calisia (or so the rumours go). A queen in the Empire would win Calisian favour and riches but only for a generation at best. A combined Launhym-Calisia would give strength for a dozen generations … if Mirabel were clever enough.
Mirabel is clever. She is not blind to the fact that the Launhymians see her as an army of a diplomatic nature; conquering with words and paper instead of swords. She insists that she sees Launhym as a kingdom besieged and that there is no point in letting Launhym fall to predators. The way to a stronger Launhym is with Calisian backing, she insists.
Mirabel is also rumoured to be having an affair with a Calisian baron, Lord Renaud Delray. Both Mirabel and Delray deny it, of course, and no one has been able to gather actual proof. However, the fact remains that she is known to write him and that he is considered a favourite at Launhym court.
Prince Diarmait, Sir Diarmait Ailesh, Boarslayer – Diarmait is beloved by the people of Launhym. At the tender age of eight, he was brought along on a boar hunt. Nobody expected anything of him. He was supposed to simply sit with the nobles and only speak when spoken to. However, when the boars were flushed out of the woods toward the hunting party one managed to veer off and wound up unexpectedly charging the young prince. Instead of panicking, Diarmait grabbed a nearby spear, braced it against a tree, and impaled the charging animal. Sceptics say this was a fortunate turn of events; that the prince really tripped over a spear and got lucky. However, the story spread through the kingdom and into lands beyond and Diarmait was seen as a prime candidate for all that was knightly.
When he was thirteen, Diarmait was squired to Sir Gaidon. Sir Gaidon was (and is) a legend. He led many campaigns and single-handedly slew the avatar of the cultist god, Ravillot. Diarmait and Gaidon travelled extensively through the Surrounding Lands and words of their deeds were the constant talk of Launhym. When they heard that the orcs had renewed their attacks, Gaidon sent word that Diarmait was to return to Launhym with him. Repelling the orcish hordes was to be Diarmait’s final test to achieve knighthood. There was no doubt in anyone’s mind that Diarmait would save the kingdom. Tragically, Gaidon and Diarmait were buried under an avalanche on the way, back through Banshee Pass. No word from either has been heard for two years. People in Launhym view Diarmait as a sort of messianic figure that will return to save them in their hour of greatest need.
Princess Sorsha, Lady Sorsha Ailesh – Sorsha was known for her seriousness and grave manner. Her parents made many attempts to instruct her in courtly ways so she could grow to be a political force. Instead she spent time with her tutors, learning Old Remarian, charting the movement of the stars, and experimenting with simple alchemical formulas. Wizardly and sorcerous magic are frowned on in Launhym; some forms of it are illegal by ancient law. The king and queen knew Sorsha could not continue her activities in Launhym and so decided to turn her unfortunate interests into opportunity.
When she was thirteen, Sorsha was sent to the Remarian Imperial Academy of Natural and Thaumatalogical Studies. She was given a small escort benefiting a young lady of her station and the assurances that she would be well looked after. Sorsha was thrilled to go and to judge by her letters, quickly forgot about life in Launhym. She returned home once when she was seventeen, but has not been seen since. She is reasonably dutiful about writing, making a point to send a letter every month or so. Almagaid and Mirabel miss her terribly and both fear they have forever lost their daughter to the arcane.
Prince Lorcan, Lord Lorcan Ailesh, Lorcan the Initiate – Lorcan grew up in the shadow of his older brother, Diarmait. One would assume that there would be intense sibling rivalry, but the truth is that Lorcan isn’t anywhere near as good as Diarmait in tests of arms. To say there is sibling rivalry would be implying that Lorcan has a chance of beating Diarmait; he doesn’t. Sending him away to be educated isn’t an option either, because that’s what the king and queen did with Sorsha—and technically, also with Diarmait.
Lorcan tried to be good at the arts of war. He is, at best, a mediocre fighter with a vague eye for planning a battle. This may have been acceptable in times of peace, but Launhym is at war with the orcs and they need a leader. When Lorcan was younger he often asked the wisdom of the druids who simply told him to be true to his own path. Lorcan didn’t find that to be a satisfactory answer because he didn’t know what path to take. He turned to the followers of the Church of Light, who had been driven underground by the people, and received answers that were less vague.
Though he is still young, Lorcan hopes to become a full member of the Order of Blessed Voporix. He sees the conflict with the orcs as a small battle in a grand war, but he is determined to win it. He has given up on winning the love of the people—a good thing, because as a member of the Church of the Light and a failure at warcraft, it is unlikely he will ever receive the goodwill of his home country.