The peninsula of Caelon lit up with civil war as more and more of the early settlements fought for their independence from the rule of the Torian command. These lordships were largely successful following the unprecedented success of the newly formed Kingdom of Ismar and Shalona, under King Eldrio Moro. Through military might and super-human battle prowess, these descendants of the First Son began pressing claims of autonomy and largely finding success in the endeavor.
While the main military force was tied up in the area now known as the Southern Tribelands combatting a threat to the peninsula, many holds faced minimal resistance from the Torians. While most of these newly proclaimed kingdoms were met by soldiers of the White Walled City at their doorstep, there was one hold that won their independence through wits alone. And the result was not a kingdom at all, but a queendom.
The Lady and the Architect
Already renowned for its stunning preservation of ancient architecture, the hold eventually known as Caslin was a perfect canvas for the greatest architect of the time, Vedillo Suarez, who volunteered to settle there after hearing tales of the breathtaking structures that stood there. Much of his work had won praise already within the White Walled City preserving and renovating the historical buildings that had fallen to ruin in the city, so that responsibility and honor of preserving and building upon an ancient site was readily accepted by the architect.
At the time of the assignment of a governor of this hold, there were a few contenders who wanted the right to lead it, including several minor lords who claimed bloodline from the First Son. While the bloodline of the First Son was stronger in those days, it was not guaranteed that just by being a descendant of the Hero a person would present with any of the reported “gifts” of power that the First Son wielded. So, when Lady Casli Morcillo, the only daughter of the late Don Carlos Morcillo, threw her name in the running for lordship over the newly discovered bastion of architecture, it was not well received by the other contenders.
Lady Casli, however, was a woman of considerable wit and intelligence. She was a learned scholar, well-respected not only in the circle of scribes but also by the Torian council. Though a woman had not been assigned leadership of any holds before, she gave an argument for the right to the position that had to be considered.
After Vedillo Suarez returned with ancient blueprints and tales of the city in an attempt to gather builders and students for the city, he met with his friend Lady Casli, and was convinced that she would be the right governor to oversee the renaissance of the city. Aside from Vedillo’s recommendation to the Council, Lady Casli also asserted her claim as head of house, after her father has passed away leaving no male heirs. What pushed Casli to victory, however, was at the court of the Council, when all of the other contenders for the governance attempted to press their claim.
It is said that every statement thrown against Casli was met with such wit and without remorse, that there was not one man in the running that didn’t leave with a red face and a damaged pride. The council unanimously assigned Lady Casli as the leader of the city which would bear her name, granting her the necessary resources to lead. The year was 38 of the Age of Kings.
A Queen is Born
Lady Casli successfully led her hold for nineteen years, during which time the already beautiful city became a sparkling gem under the architects of Vedillo Suarez. In 57 A4, she was prepared to ascend to a new title, a level that no lord or lady had won without bloodshed. Lady Casli needed not the machinations of warfare or bold exhibitions of power, only the flexing of a great mind in order to win her city’s independence.
Lady Casli invited several of the members of the Torian Council for an extended stay in her city, along with other high ranking officials. While there, they were filled with awe and amazement at what the lady had done to the city. They remarked on her discoveries of troves of scrolls and books unearthed from ancient libraries that she claimed as her treasure. In a presentation of some of the findings, they learned that Lady Casli had uncovered knowledge long-lost, including copies of important documents thought long-lost in the Fall of Man. She gave the documents to them freely, asserting that it was their right to take them.
Over the following days, that same theme played out over and over. Through wits and gifts and charm, Lady Casli primed her guests for her ultimate goal of peaceful secession. On the day she made her argument, it was clear the mental defenses of the officials had already worn away. One of them even remarked in a personal letter about how they thought she was ‘no lady but a queen in all but name.‘
The crux of Lady Casli’s argument lay within the precedent of King Eldrio Moro, and how through demonstration of his gifts, had asserted his rite to be king. She had studied the document that had been written formalizing Eldrio Moro as king, and had found a weakness in the wording. Essentially, the document legalized the kingdom’s secession, claiming that he won the title because of his heritage and the demonstration of his gifts. Nowhere in the document did it officially say that he won because of a victory in duel, perhaps due to pride. That omission became the base of her argument.
Presenting the argument to them, she did so in such a way that she won her authority with no threats to the Torian command. She successfully argued that she could be queen of this realm and maintain religious and trade connections to the White Walled City that would benefit both. In truth, the White Walled City had no resources to fight yet another war, especially one this far away from the capital. They reluctantly agreed.
Thus, it was Queen Casli that cemented the idea of what would eventually be called the Rule of Gifted Birthright, a principle used many times since then as a means for an heir of the First Son to claim thrones. As the years passed, the Rule of Gifted Birthright became more about proving heritage than it did about showing unnatural powers, as the gifts of the First Son were slowly lost through the generations.
To read more about Queen Casli and her legacy, read this article.