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|“||A noble does not rule simply by decree or by law, but by the sufferance of those ruled. A noble puts the well-being of the people before her own, or else she is unfit to rule.||”|
|— Her Royal Highness Queen Zaranda, Monarch of Tethyr|
Zaranda was very tall, standing at six feet, one inch, and had an athletic build. Her hair was dark brown with a white forelock. Her eyes were gray, and she had a thin nose and lips. By the late 1360s DR, she had a skewed nose (from having had it broken) and several scars and burns on her face.
In battle, Zaranda wore a steel breastplate and backplate and a small helmet. In court, she favored soft, dark colors and velvet gowns.
Zaranda was the epitome of free-spiritedness; she decided her own destiny. This trait is probably why she gave up her training as a mage at an early age; she preferred the savage excitement of a fighter's life over that of a studious pupil.
She could be calm, however, when the situation called for it, such as during matters of court or negotiations. Her temper would still flare, though, if injustice or violations of freedom or privacy occurred, and she would never negotiate over hostages.
Zaranda's independent personality was clearly seen in her romantic relationships, where she tended to be the one to both initiate and end relationships. She found herself surprised to find love with Haedrak Rhindaun, which grew during their time together at the end of the Reclamation Wars, but soon considered him a true equal partner. They married on Kythorn 30, 1369 DR.
Queen Zaranda had three children with Haedrak, two girls and a boy—triplets. Zaranda was the first Tethyrian royal to have triplets in the 500 years since Queen Alisande. Princess Sybille, Prince Coram, and Princess Cyriana were born, in that order, in the month of Flamerule in 1370 DR. ("Sybille" and "Cyriana" were the names of the daughter and granddaughter of Queen Alisande, respectively.)
Zaranda was an orphan, and not much else is known about her early childhood.
- Shield of Innocence, an Orog paladin
- Vander Stillhawk, a human ranger[note 1]
- Chenowyn, Zaranda's "apprentice", a young ruby dragon disguised as a human whom Zaranda treated as a daughter
- Golden Dawn or "Goldie", Zaranda's intelligent, talking horse
- Gisbertus, a bugbear and Zaranda's chief steward and chamberlain
After her crowning, many of the members of Star Protective Services became the Warriors of the Star, the elite service sworn to protect the king and queen of Tethyr. Vander Stillhawk was their first leader.
Other Close FriendsEdit
During the campaign against the Tuigan Horde, Zaranda met and became friends with Vajra Valmeyjar, Onyx the Invincible, Timoth Eyesbright, Vander Stillhawk (who later joined Star Protective Services), Kyrin Hawkwinter, and Zelphar Thann.
During the early stages of the Reclamation Wars, she met the members of the Company of Eight, with whom her ideals were closely matched. These adventurers too became her good friends.
Zaranda publicly converted to the religion of Siamorphe, which was a sign to her people of her nobility.
Zaranda was especially proficient in the use of the saber, battle axe, dagger, and boar spear. She strongly preferred melee combat, but could shoot a crossbow if necessary. She was skilled at mounted combat, able to strike foes on both sides of her horse with her saber.
She was skilled in the knowledge of the planets and stars but was opposed to the idea that they could predict anyone's future.
Her most commonly worn crown was the "Queen's Diadem". It was a simple weave of silver, gold, and mithral, decorated in a wave pattern with stars and goblets. It protected her from mind-reading spells. The "Monarch's Crown" was her state crown. It too protected from mind-reading but also afforded several other magical protections. It was made of gold, silver, and bronze with mithral, rubies, and garnets. It featured a carved image of Siamorphe's goblet. She found it uncomfortable to wear. Both crowns were so enchanted by Elminster and Alustriel.
Zaranda's scepter was a solid silver rod with the head of a lion with diamond eyes. It acted as a rod of absorption. It, too, was created by Elminster. When in court, Zaranda always had the scepter in hand, though Haedrak and Court Vizera Perendra Raslemtar could also wield it.
Before setting off on a mercantile voyage towards the end of 1366 DR, Zaranda bought County Morninggold and its titles from the Order of the Silver Chalice. Her trip took her to places such as Thay and Unther, and she returned with a caravan of goods destined for Zazesspur. She accepted an orog named Shield of Innocence into her group, something which would normally be frowned upon. When her group arrived in Zazesspur, they were arrested by the Council on the order of Baron Faneuil Hardisty, but escaped before they could be imprisoned.
The Reclammation WarsEdit
In Tarsakh of 1367 DR, Star Protective Services were in Ithmong to speak with the Council when Zaranda was betrayed by one of her own companions and drugged and imprisoned in dungeons beneath Zazesspur.
Days of TerrorEdit
On Mirtul 3, 1367 DR, Zaranda and her companions brought the Days of Terror in Zazesspur to an end by venturing into the Underdark and defeating The One Below, who was responsible for many of the evil happenings at that time. On emerging back to the surface, the people expressed their desire to make Zaranda their queen, and the date became known as Crowning Day.
Rise to PowerEdit
Initially Zaranda expressed a desire to be Queen of Tethyr only so long as the people understood that her position was their responsibility, and set about discussing with Lord Faunce and Lord Hhune of Zazesspur how to get the support of the people.
By the winter at the end of 1367 DR, the rule of Julian Gallowglass, son of the former Lord-Mayor Ernest Gallowglass, over the city of Ithmong had become tyrannical and Zaranda stepped in, aided by villagers and her companions. They laid siege to the city and Zaranda, Marilyn Haresdown, and Tardeth Llanistaph captured Julian, confining him to the Cloister of St. Ramedar. Queen Zaranda renamed the city "Darromar" and made the old abode of Julian Gallowglass her palace, Faerntarn.
Star Protective Services helped defend against ogre and goblin attacks in the spring of 1368 DR, and, after a two-month siege, they overturned an ogre who sought to be king of Tethyr from Saradush and was backed by bandits and mercenaries hired by merchants from Myratma. Freeing the original ruler of Saradush, Oon Santele further unified the people and cities of Tethyr.
First Siege of MyratmaEdit
Thus, Queen Zaranda and her Loyalist Army set out to Myratma, where they found that one Yusuf Jhannivvar had placed himself on the throne. After a one month siege, the Loyalist Army was defeated by Prince Jhannivvar, and Zaranda herself was captured.
Second Siege of MyratmaEdit
Zaranda had been tortured for three months in the prisons of Myratma, before Prince Haedrak and his army began the second siege. Prince Jhannivvar had her transported to Shoonach, where she was furthered tortured by the wizardess Safana Aldhanek, who turned her back and forth into various animals and shapes with her polymorphing magic.
Zaranda escaped from the clutches of Safana and fled deeper into the ruins of Shoonach before being rescued by Prince Haedrak and Timoth.
The group returned to the Loyalist Army and commanded it in the final days of the siege, which finally ended in the Storm Siege. Zaranda slew Prince Jhannivvar with an arrow on the west wall of the city, after he had treacherously stabbed Haedrak after the latter had bested him in a duel. Thus ended the Reclamation Wars.
Coronation & WeddingEdit
Haedrak and Zaranda were married in three separate ceremonies on Kythorn 30 of 1369 DR at the Convent of St. Rhynda. During the final ceremony, performed by a priestess of Siamorphe, the couple were bathed in light, a divine sign of their nobility.
Their coronation occurred in the following month, at Faerntarn. Again, the blessings of Siamorphe were upon them, for the crowns placed themselves magically upon Zaranda and Haedrak's heads.
Conflicts at the BordersEdit
In her new role as queen, Zaranda made several changes to the Kingdom of Tethyr in hopes of unifying the people. She removed the noble titles of earl and baron, leaving only counts and dukes. She move the capital city from Zazesspur to Ithmong, which was more central, and renamed it "Darromar" in honor of King Darrom Ithal, the first king of Tethyr, and she renamed many other lands and titles as well to what they were during the time of the Queens' Dynasty.
The queen promised to hold court at least twice per year—at Greengrass and Highharvestide. She was the only one permitted to rule in matters of "high justice" over other members of the royalty. She was responsible for maintaining armies for the protection of all Tethyr.
Queen Zaranda was advised by a "Royal Privy Council" consisting of the following members:
- King Haedrak III
- Duchess Vajra Valmeyjar
- Duke Alaric Hembreon
- Duke Tardeth Llanistaph
- Duke Llachior Blackthorn
- Duke Inselm Hhune
- Duchess Marilyn Haresdown
- Duke Mirthal Aendryr
- Duke Foxfire
- Lord-Mayor Lyrminor Vineshigh
- Lord Rauthomyr
- Lord Vorn Ghalmrin
- Lady Simonne Whitebrow
- Archdruid Arkaneus Silvermane
- ↑ Heroes' Lorebook lists Vander as a wood elf archer/ranger, while Champions of Valor lists him as a human fighter. Lands of Intrigue mentions him several times but is uncharacteristically silent on the matter of his race and class. War in Tethyr describes him in detail as a human ranger raised by elves, so that is what is stated here.
- ↑ 1.00 1.01 1.02 1.03 1.04 1.05 1.06 1.07 1.08 1.09 1.10 1.11 Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), p. 82. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
- ↑ 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 Dale Donovan, Paul Culotta (August 1996). Heroes' Lorebook. (TSR, Inc), pp. 133–135. ISBN 0-7869-0412-7.
- ↑ Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), p. 45. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
- ↑ Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), p. 83. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), p. 5. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 George Krashos (2004-04-17). Questions for Steven Schend. Candlekeep Forum. Retrieved on 2016-08-28.
- ↑ Ed Greenwood, Sean K. Reynolds, Skip Williams, Rob Heinsoo (June 2001). Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting 3rd edition. (Wizards of the Coast), p. 158. ISBN 0-7869-1836-5.
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 45–46. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
- ↑ Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), p. 52. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
- ↑ Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book Three: Erlkazar & Folk of Intrigue. (TSR, Inc), p. 29. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
- ↑ 11.0 11.1 Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), p. 40. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
- ↑ 12.0 12.1 Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 9–10. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
- ↑ Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), p. 39. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
- ↑ 14.0 14.1 14.2 Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book Three: Erlkazar & Folk of Intrigue. (TSR, Inc), pp. 25–27. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
- ↑ Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), p. 70. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
- ↑ 16.0 16.1 16.2 16.3 16.4 16.5 16.6 16.7 16.8 Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 39–41. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
- ↑ Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), p. 42. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
- ↑ 18.0 18.1 18.2 Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 43–44. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
- ↑ 19.0 19.1 Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 51–52. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
- ↑ Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), p. 4. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
- ↑ Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), p. 6. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.
- ↑ Steven E. Schend (1997). Lands of Intrigue: Book One: Tethyr. (TSR, Inc.), pp. 7–8. ISBN 0-7869-0697-9.