Trofim Andreevich, Prince of Ladeisk
Trofim is a 40-ish, and still strikingly handsome, prince. He has ruled over Ladeisk for nearly two decades, during which time he has become known as a storied warrior and commander. He also has a reputation as a man of great faith, and has sought to use the Church and religious zeal to establish himself as the leader among the Norik Alferovichi princes, and the leader in a campaign to win freedom from the dreaded Kochmaki. Trofim's father, Andrei Mikhailovich, had been given the charter of Grand Prince of Nor' by the khan. The charter had been promised to Trofim after his death, but the khan feared that Ladeisk would become too powerful under a charismatic young prince, and instead gave the charter to his main rival, Prince Vasilii Feodorovich of Kliakva. According to Trofim and members of his retinue, Vasilii has been using all means at his disposal to try to undermine him ever since. Trofim won early campaigns against Omena and Turp, and succeeded in making his son Oleg prince of the latter city. He also negotiated a successful trade deal with Krinets, causing much of the western manufactures trade to flow south along the Udena. The latter feat won him the approval of Khan Bukidai, but Vasilii convinced the khan that this made Trofim too strong, as Ladeisk stood to be the largest beneficiary of all the riverine traffic. The khan responded by launching several preemptive raids on Ladeisk territory to clip Trofim's wings, but instead of receiving the message, Trofim began to assemble an anti-Kochmak coalition. He was thwarted at every turn, and was forced to turn to the Galind for help, and to accept their effective takeover of a whole host of western Noriki cities. For dealing with the pagan Galindy, Trofim earned the enmity of the some highly placed Church prelates, though he was always generous in his donations to religious institutions, and vigorous about prosecuting heresy and unbelief in his own domains. In recent years, Kochmak raids against Ladeisk territory have resumed, with the destruction of the large village of Vladykino being only the latest example. Some residents of that village pursued the raiders, and ended up slaying the serpent who sponsored the raid, but his mate, enraged, burned down the city of Udyn in retaliation, thinking that the murderers had the support of its rulers. The khan blamed the destruction on Trofim Andreevich, as his subjects were involved, and started issuing threats of besieging the city. At around the same time, the slayers of Yaqub the Serpent had also provoked the activity of numerous wolf shapechangers to the north of Ladeisk. The shapechangers devastated the countryside, and now threaten the city from the opposite side. Trofim believes that the Grand Prince is behind both problems, particularly the latter, as many shapechangers serve in his retinue. Quickly running out of options, he has agreed to organize a diplomatic mission to the Galind Grand Prince, and offer him a marriage alliance involving their children. Though a brave and noble ruler, the prince is not without his faults. He is known to have a weakness for gold, and tried to hold on to a golden eggshell given to him by Lokan, even after he learned that it was property of some of his peasants (in his defense, he did need the money to help the war effort against the Kochmaki). Trofim Andreevich can also be short-tempered and mercuric. He expelled Yuri Barolov from the city because he told the truth about the eggshell in a public proceeding, but then relented, and sent Malina Petrovna to bring him and his companions back after the wolves began their depredations. He also rather unceremoniously sent away Augusta de Urbino after she offered him some foreign military manuals, though the timing of her offer couldn't be worse, and Trofim may have been trying to stay on the good side of his own archbishop, who would be rightly suspicious of a foreign friar trying to create an Ecumenical diocese on his territory. Trofim is married to Nadezhda of Vyshemila, widely esteemed as a woman of saintly virtues. The princely pair have five surviving children - Gavriil, 22 - the heir to Ladeisk, Vadim, 20 - the reigning Prince of Turp, Matvei, 17, Arsenii, 15, and Anna, 12. The latter two are unmarried, and possible options for making an alliance with the Galind Grand Prince.