27 Arodus 4718 (Moonday)


I was honestly a bit shocked when Martella told us there were fifteen claimants to the throne of Talodor, though only eight of them carried any real weight.

Princess Eutropia was of course a major player. The real problem was that while the primogeniture laws had been passed by the Senate, it still needed to be ratified by the Grand Prince, which we are now without. 

High Strategos Maxillar of House Pythareus, Duke of Zimar was the second major player. It turned out that Grand Prince Stavian had indeed adopted him a week before the Senate Gala. However, that would also need to be recognized by the Senate for it to become official. With the deaths of 78 senators in the Exaltation Massacre, there were no longer enough senators left for there to be an overwhelming majority vote needed to recognize the adoption. Verity brought up that many of the senators positions are hereditary, and the next in line could take the seat. While this is correct, Martella reminded us that senators still needed to be signed into office by the Grand Prince. 

It seems Stavian’s machinations and death have ground Taldor’s political offices to a halt. 

When I asked Martella if she thought Pythareus had anything to do with the massacre, she said that she did not. While he is a stern man, and could be called ruthless in matters of war, he does love Taldor. Martella couldn’t imagine that he would have been alright with the murders of so many innocent people. I hope she is right.

Rumors of activity on the Qadiran border have begun to circulate that there will be an attack while Taldor is in a place of instability. I can only hope these are false rumors. The last thing we need is a civil war and a war with our neighbors at the same time. Taldor would not survive it. 

The first of the other six claimants that actually holds any weight is Thestro of House Briarsmith, Grand Duke of Porthmos. Oliver has heard he is a ruthless man, who controls one of the largest prisons in Taldor. He is not above using this against his political rivals. 

The second is Marcien of House Cyrus, Count of South Lingian.  

The third is Borand of House Heskillar, Grand Duke of Krearis. While there is nothing necessarily scandalous about the Grand Duke, he is married to a dwarven woman. There is nothing wrong with this, but many among the nobility will see it as a problem. Yet another thing that needs to be rectified. 

The fourth is Destelita of House Solari, Grand Duchess of Ligos. The Grand Duchess hasn’t been in power for very long. Her predecessor was removed from the position due to a scandal, and rumor says Destelita may have had a hand in it. 

The fifth is Tanasha of House Starborne, Marquess of Wispil. Verity talked to the gnomish senator at the Gala, and said that she is a wonderful and interesting woman. Martella told us that Tanasha has already sent a letter of apology to the Princess, and likely has little interest in actually making a bid for the throne. She would make a great ally, if nothing else.

The sixth, and last, is Aldian of House Vort, Baron of Blackwood Swamp. I know of him through my connections at the Kith. The man loves the opera, but is despised by his people. He uses most of the money from his lands to fund a lavish lifestyle here in Oppara, and lets his lands suffer. However, he is exceedingly popular in the capital, which may give him a bit of clout when it comes to his claim. 

Martella added that Houses Kiu, Lawsus, Merkander, Nazezi, Phaeben, Phini, and Tarq have all also laid claims to the throne, but they are less serious.

All of these people other than Princess Eutropia, and perhaps Marquess Starborne and Grand Duke Heskillar, are not only horrible choices for the throne but all around terrible people. No wonder the common people are displeased with the nobility of Taldor. 

As Martella was rolling up the map, she mentioned that she had received an “apology” letter from the Brotherhood of Silence, informing her that the contract was canceled. I have a strong suspicion that Stavian was behind the contract in the first place, not that the Brotherhood would tell us. Quite frankly the gall they have is astounding. Apology or no, if I see any of their members I will take the appropriate action to deal with them.

I admit I am a bit nervous to see Eutropia after all these years. We have all changed. I have given my word to help her ascend to the throne that is rightfully hers, and I will do anything in my power to see it done. This is a time of great sadness and upheaval in her life, and I hope our presence helps her through it.


28 Arodus, 4718 (Toilday)


When we arrived at the steps of the Senate Building, the area was already filled with people. The nobility occupied the closest spots to the stage, while the common folk filled the streets. Children were seated on their parent’s shoulders so they could get a glimpse of the Princess. Verity and Felyx remained closer to the back of the noble crowd, so they could hear the commoner’s reactions to the speech. 

I noticed the Taldane Phalanx were present in large numbers and Oliver, Cornelius and I made our way closer to the stage. We had just found a good place to stand when we heard a commotion behind us. We turned to see the High Strategos and his men, most of them on horseback, forcing their way through the crowds. When they came to a stop, I made my way closer to Pythareus so I could hear any reaction he might have to Eutropia’s speech.

Not long after his arrival, Eutropia appeared, and approached a podium that had been erected for this occasion. She was dressed in the blue and green of Taldor. Her speech was wonderful. She spoke of the great tragedy that had befallen our nation, but it was not a time for us to divide, but to come together to make a new, brighter future. Eutropia acknowledged that she represents change, and that many people fear that change, but it was necessary for our nation to grow and prosper. She continued acknowledging that Taldor is steeped in tradition, but clinging to that tradition, like the High Strategos wanted, would only drag us back into our bloody history. The applause was great, and I could hear many people murmuring in agreement.

In a move that should have shocked no one, the High Strategos took to the stage, and Eutropia waved him forward to speak. His speech was much darker. He agreed that Taldor must rise above what has happened, but that change was not the way to do this. We needed our traditions, for without them were we even Taldane anymore? Everyone must know their place, and their jobs for society to function. He continued that he does not want war. I scoffed at this. He continued saying our lost provinces needed us to return to them, to guide them to a better future, to protect them. To my surprise, there were also a great many cheers for him as he finished his speech. I noticed he stopped and said something to the Princess before he left the stage, and she looked rather surprised. 

Pythareus climbed onto his horse, and left with his men, heading south. Now that the speeches were done I’m sure he felt he needed to turn his attention to the so-called “stirrings” at the border. 

His speech left a bad taste in my mouth. What sort of future does Taldor have if we remain mired in the past traditions? Even the devil worshipers in Cheliax realize that gender should have no bearing on who inherits power. It turns my stomach that a nation such as that is more progressive than my own home. While I don’t know if I’d go so far as Andoran’s democracy, a Taldor where more opportunities are given to people based on their achievements and not simply on their heritage would be welcomed. The High Strategos made mention that the strength of Taldor relied on us remaining “pure” or some other such nonsense. I have worried for my son all his life, and if such views are held by the Grand Prince, he will never inherit his titles or lands. I felt that familiar ball of anger beginning to well up as I joined my friends. 

We chatted for a bit about what was said in the speeches, and my friend’s views mirrored my own. After the crowds thinned out a bit, Martella rejoined us. She and the Princess had known that Pythareus would likely want to make a speech, and that it would reflect poorly if they didn’t let him. I asked her if Eutropia had told her what he said to her, but Martella said she made no mention of it. If I get the opportunity I may ask her.

Martella took us to Aroden’s View. The gardens and townhomes are quite lovely, and if I get a chance I would enjoy taking a long walk through the area myself. The home Martella led us to was grand, but not as extravagant as one would imagine a Princess living in. 

That strange nervousness began to settle in my belly again as we made our way inside.