Vesse the Blessed
King Vesse Sarap (a.k.a. the Blessed)
Early LifeVesse Sarap was born on the 2nd of Tolnor, 1381 AA. His father was Prince Jaak Vertinan and his mother was Sofia Ep Viktoria Sarap, Queen of the Kingdom of Sarala.
As a firstborn child, he was taught lessons in three important fields that he would need later on in his life as monarch of his country. Fighting, so that he could serve as an example to his men on the field of battle. Faith, so that he could serve as a spiritual guide if need be. And the last and arguably most important lessons were in leadership and politics. These lessons covered everything from ordering around soldiers to figuring out how the nobles in far-off countries handled intrigue.
As I jumped into the hole in the frozen lake, I thought I saw something move in the water, but I ignored it and forced the thoughts out of my mind.
Drifting under the ice, Vesse lost consciousness. The Saralian nobles who lived in the area tried their best to search for him, but after the first week, they had lost all hope of finding the young Crown Prince. Two weeks later, Queen Sofia Ep Viktoria Sarap announced in a passionate speech that her son had died and that Princess Tuuli Sarap, Vesse's twelve-year-old sister, was now first in line to inherit the throne. Devastated that she hadn't been there to see his son's coming of age ceremony, Queen Sofia fell into depression and often refused to leave her room, leaving her regent, Prince Jaak, in charge of running the state.
The nobles in Ranta were shocked to learn of his survival and after hearing his story, the Crown Prince became known as Vesse the Blessed. The Ranta nobles offered him food, mulled wine, new clothes, a bath, and transportation back home.
King of Sarala
My heart shattered when I saw my dead mother in the room, but before I could shed a tear, the realization that I was supposed to lead my country, struck, and I suppressed the emotions, at least for a few hours.
Vesse, together with his father, began preparing for a speech and the public announcement regarding the return of the rightful heir, the death of the Queen, and the future of Sarala. While Prince Jaak wrote Vesse's speech, the Crown Prince had his own ideas for what he wanted to tell the people. In the morning the palace guards, Metsavärtija, Prince Jaak Vertinan, and Crown Prince Vesse the Blessed stood in front of their palace, on top the stairs that led up the hill where the large building stood. His father gave him the parchment with his portion of the speech and proceeded with the declaration that the Queen had died. He mentioned that she had been poisoned by foreign assassins, but Vesse interrupted and tore up the parchment that he had given him.
Vesse spoke the truth of what had happened, including his own miraculous story of how he had been saved by a spirit of the lake. He appealed to his people's sense of pride in their nation, faith, and culture by announcing that everyone, even the commoners, were welcome to join in on the funeral celebrations. He wanted the whole country to celebrate his mother's life and to show her that people cared about her wellbeing and that they will miss her.
Later during the day, Vesse and many of the lords of his realm went to Lake Talvimür. There he was crowned King of Sarala and at the end of the celebration, when most of the nobles were heading back to the capital, the spirit of the lake returned and praised the young king for his devotion to Haltjanism. Although his father protested, the new King of Sarala chose to stay on the shores of the lake for the night.
Invasion of IthelmarkThe first three years of King Vesse's reign had gone smoothly, but early on during his fourth year as the King of Sarala, the Grand Elder of the Federal Geniocracy of Ithelmark has denounced Vesse's sacred homeland. Claiming that the Saralian people were savages for worshipping nonexistent creatures who supposedly inhabit large boulders, trees, lakes, and other such things. After hearing about the denouncement, the Saralian nobility demanded that their king would ask for an apology, but King Vesse the Blessed had greater plans.
He sent people all across Sarala to tell the story of how the Ithel Grand Elder had denounced everything great about Sarala and the Saralian people. When the people of the lower classes heard the story, they were furious and then later in the month, King Vesse declared war and raised his levy to fight against the Federal Geniocracy of Ithelmark, thus starting the War for the Merells.
After years of leading his forces into to battle and occupying the Ithelmarker State of Merell, the two countries signed the Treaty of Vechek and the government of Ithelmark were forced to pay war reparations, publicly apologize for the denouncement, and cede the West Merells to Sarala.
ProselytizingAfter returning home after the successful war, a large celebration, similar to her mother's funeral, were held across the country to celebrate victory and the lives of the fallen men who died on the field of battle. The celebrations lasted for a few days and after they were over, the King returned to his newly conquered territories with an entourage of Haltjanist priests and plenty of soldiers to protect them and suppress any unrest.
The conversion of the Merellians was a brutal affair. Thousands of devout Hillenists lost their lives for speaking out against the forced conversion and whenever the King's agents sensed an imminent uprising, the local garrison went in and executed or arrested anyone they suspected might have been planning on committing treason.
The first four years were the bloodiest, but after then, most Merellians gave up and just accepted their fate. News of what had happened to the Hillenists spread to Ithelmark and the rest of the Hillenistic Church, resulting in outrage amongst the people. Many began demanding a second war, but Ithelmark's armies hadn't recovered and they had other priorities that kept them busy and unable to wage a new war.
Seniority Succession LawKing Vesse the Blessed never married anyone and therefore never produced an heir to the Kingdom of Sarala. In his mind, the oldest member of the royal family should take the throne instead, and so he changed the succession law. By the time he died, the oldest member of his family had been his younger sister, the same person who was the rightful heir to the throne before he changed the law.
Kingdom of Sarala
The kingdom of Sarala is a human kingdom with a people who have a deep spiritual connection to their homeland
Federal Geniocracy of Ithelmark
Multicultural country in Southern Lethea and mankind's first line of defense
Haltjanism is a godless religion based on respecting and worshiping nature, ancestors, and spirits
Hillenism is the largest branch of the Abreanist religion. Followers of the faith believe in the teachings of Saint Hillen, the hero whose sacrifice saved the world from the Invasion.
Quick Summary of the Magic Systems
A short guide to the magic systems
Refusal to MarryThere were many aspects of King Vesse the Blessed that are unclear, one of which being his refusal to get married. Throughout his life, many nobles from Sarala and beyond had offered him their daughters, but every time he politely refused, often complimenting the woman's beauty and telling them or their father that he already belonged to another. Who this other person was, remained unknown, but by now there are an untold amount of conspiracy theories that try explaining this quirk of his.
Mysterious DeathInstead of celebrating his forty-seventh birthday in the comfort of his own palace, King Vesse decided to travel to lake Kersta all alone, wearing simple clothes to disguise his identity and only carrying a sack of rations and a sword he had borrowed from the armory. There his lifeless corpse was discovered a few days later under a pile of fresh snow. The body was lying on the ground and the King's arms were crossed over his chest. His eyes were closed but a smile still remained.
The exact cause of death remained unknown. Despite being in the snow for days, his body showed no signs of hypothermia or frostbite and after the extensive analysis, no wounds were revealed and the professionals couldn't find any traces of poison.