The Seeker's Key | The Ksaera Dynasty
Rise of the Ksaeras
The first Ksaera king was the second born child of King Valerian Tero and Consort Lykke Ksaera. As the second born, it was assumed that his sister (Tarusia) would come to rule Asteria.
However, Tarusia had contraversial plans for the kingdom. Her vision was to once more reunite the kingdoms of Asteria and Serro into the empire of Rhyngard. To this end, her family helped arrange her marriage to Alexander Kysely (the Elder), the Crown Prince of Serro.
Not long after, the king of Serro passed away and Alexander ascended to the throne. To aid her husband in this transition, Tarusia moved to Serro. Her stay lasted longer than anyone intended and in the wake, her younger brother began to sow doubt at court.
Because of this, Varan was pushed into claiming the clan name "Ksaera". While any of the great clan could attempt to claim the throne, by law, in reality only the Teros were considered in line for the throne. Varan was no deterred however.
He won prestige and support by leading a conquest on the northern kingdom of Wuelys.
Upon the death of Valerian I, Varan's aunt and clan leader stepped down. The clan elected Varan to take her place and Varan claimed the throne. Away in Serro, Tarusia was slow to respond. Her time in Serro had done her few favours among the Asterian nobility, who feared they would become subjects of Serro - rather than equals.
The Tero clan elected Tarusia as their clan leader. This would usually have guaranteed her ascenation to power but
Varan had other plans. As mentioned, an leader of the great clans could claim the throne and Varan did just that.
The earls of Asteria crowned him king. The Conductor's Key was given to Varan's wife, Maurin Hsarin. And Varan retained the Protector's Key of the Ksaera family. Tarusia kept one victory for herself: she took the Key of the Sunbird with her. The traditional Key of the King of Asteria, it robbed her brother of some legitimacy but as a Ksaera he had no claim to it. She returned to Serro not long after.
With Varan's rise as King, the Ksaera's became the new royal family of the kingdom.
The first major challenge of Varan's reign began with the arrival of a large army of Kallian raiders in Nategaz. The region to the east had long been under the protection of Asteria through a series of agreements with cities and petty principalities.
During the elections, they refused to bend the knee to Varan, siding with Tarusia. Unlike the various earldoms of Asteria, Nategaz was only subject to Asteria if they choose to be so.
When the Kallians arrive, Tarusia took the Serran army into Nategaz to protect them, believing her brother would be too busy solidifying his rule. Varan knew he couldn't wait. To defend Nategaz, Tarusia had to march through Asteria's territory. Instead of meeting Tarusia in battle there, leaving his kingdom open to attack from raiders and his army to be attacked from behind by the Nategazians, Varan rode to Nategaz itself.
He found the Kallia leaders and made a deal with them. The alliance was sealed with the marriage of Prince Eldan Ksaera and Princess Arval Kreghen.
When Tarusia arrives in Nategaz, Varan was there to meet her. He claimed the region she had come to protect was now under control of Asteria, because the Kallians had conquered it and then bent the knee to him.
Tarusia challenged Varan to a duel but Varan refused. He would not slay his sister, even in honourable combat. In the end, the two armies battled and Varan emerged victorious. Tarusia's husband, leader of the army, was injured in the combat. The injury would drain Alexander's health for a year or so before he finally died from complications with his treatment. Tarusia would never recover her power or her throne.
As a second born who had claimed the throne for himself, Varan believed that his children had to prove their value as heirs. Unforunately, none of his three children lived up to his expectations. In birth order they were Keris, Aleois, and Damarius.
Keris, the eldest, was even more combative than her father. She was an unruly child who grew into a temperamental adult. While she had several loyal allies, who admired her ferociousness and skill in battle, her mother was less convinced. Maurin feared that Keris would never develop the steady hand required of a good ruler. <\/p>
Aleois, the second born, cared little for the crown. Her disinterest was apparent to all, despite her talent for politics, neither of her parents considered her for the throne. Instead, she forged herself a life away from the royal court by marrying the King of Meza. Her marriage was accepted as it forged a valuable alliance with the nearby island nation.
Finally, Damarius was the youngest. Almost the complete opposite of Keris, Damarius was unassertive and tended to defer to others. While this won him no favours with Varan, he was always his mother's favourite.
The succession, forunately, never resulted in all out war. To gain her father's favour, Keris aided in the invasion of Merovia. However, during this time, Keris was killed in battle. With her death, Damarius became the natural heir. However, at this time, Damarius was in a semi-exiled in Mysagard.
The war that cost Keris' life would be unsuccessful. In it's wake, Varan called his son back from Mysgard. By then, Damarius had several children: Korran (by his first wife), Lucan, Theodan, Gennadia and Emeran (by his second wife). Varan saw great potential in the young Korran and had renewed hope for his kingdom. Damarius would see learn the primary reason for his recall, however, when Varan used his second son, Lucan, as a bartering chip to seal a peace with Merovia.
Reign of Damarius
Several years later, Varan succumbed to his old age. He was elected as clan leader and king in a relatively smooth process.