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Krysala Krysa, Empress of Lamara

Monarch Krysala Amossi Krysa (a.k.a. The unknown.) (she/her)

Krysala is the Monarch of Lamara. It's like being the king or queen but I use Monarch cos the word Lamarans use is gender neutral and being married to one doesn't get you any special title, just "Monarch's Husband/Wife".

Anyway, Krysala doesn't do shit as far as running the country or its military goes. Her ma, named Krissa and the previous Monarch, died giving birth to her due to a knife baby incident and so she's had the position since getting evicted from that place Freud based a lot of ideas off a supposed idea of everyone wanting to go back to.

Babies can't exactly run countries so her dad pulled a coup to out-coup another coup that would've couped Krysala. Following? Her dad is basically the dictator of the country until Krysala is old enough to rule, and took the position - named Monarch Protector - by force because it was meant to go to Krysala's aunt and he wasn't having the person he considered most likely to kill his daughter given the opportunity given control of an entire country, especially due to a policy that's literally made to kill off child rulers.*

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The policy is that if the ruler is younger than 16, then the first person in line for the throne aged older than 25 gets to be the Monarch Protector until the kid with a crown turns 16. This is usually an aunt or uncle, and usually the first in line if the Monarch is killed. The unofficial tradition is for them to use their position to get the child ruler killed in an "accident" and then get the actual Monarch position so that the country is always in the hands of someone old enough to run it.

Krysala's dad has basically broken that system by taking the Monarch Protector role from his sister-in-law by force, saving his daughter's life and getting to enjoy the perks of being a widowed Monarch Protector without royal blood, like constant assassination attempts, having to bend over backwards to keep the "loyalty" of vassals who provide your money and soldiers, bending over backwards to keep the Temple from turning on you and in doing so making rebellion against you a religious obligation, committing atrocities just to avoid looking weak cos you're surrounded by weakness-sniffing bloodhounds, keeping "keys" ("keys to rule". Anyone whose retirement or betrayal would have you screwed) loyal, crushing rebellions every day, not being allowed to remarry without causing a civil war over fear of favouritism towards the faction of whoever you marry (and if they lack a faction, then civil war over that) and being watched at all times.

Physical Description

General Physical Condition

Strong and healthy. More agile than she is strong.

Identifying Characteristics

Nothing like a pair of terrifying red eyes to make you stand out.

That aside, you know that it's the Monarch walking towards you by their jewelry and clothing.

Special abilities

Since she's a Krysa, she can grow crystal from her skin. She can also harden her flesh and bone, but not blood, into crystal. As a survival mechanism, Krysa generally can't crystalise their vital organs because otherwise they'd be capable of committing suicide on a whim - interesting free will thought experiment, terrible from a natural selection perspective.

Both types of crystal come in two main forms: degenerating and non-degenerating. For both types of crystal, any hardness above a certain point is due to the presence of magic. Magic drains slowly from crystals, weakening them. The baseline strength for degenerating crystals is so low that without any magic they just crumble into dust. The baseline strength for non-degenerating crystal is about equal to that of diamond, so even without magic it's incredibly strong.

The hardened flesh/bone variety is non-degenerating, on top of being loaded with magic, and so is always insanely hard. The crystal grown from skin can be degenerating or non-degenerating, with non-degenerating crystal being harder to grow.

She also has something of a healing factor. An injury that takes say a month to heal will usually take about a week for her.

From her crystal abilities, she's derived the following:

Crystal sight. She crystalises parts of the lenses within her eyes to alter her sight. This can let her see further away, closer or even improve her night vision. Alternatively she can grow looking glasses.

Crystal blades and armour. Does as is on the tin.

Crystal mechanisms. If she knows the blueprints and concentrates while making them, she can produce fully-functioning contraptions. Among these is a non-degenerating typewriter.

Here or there? She can specially grow her crystal to

And all the other obvious uses for growing crystal from yourself.

Apparel & Accessories

The first layer of noticeable clothing is a cotton't (functionally cotton but from a different source, specifically a type of insect that grows it in autumn and sheds it in spring. They're deliberately subjected to cold and then warm conditions to make them grow and shed the cotton) under-clothing. This consists of trousers, socks and a long-sleeve shirt in separate parts. It's dyed light blue.

Then there's a silk-like substance. This stuff is dark blue, with light blue and gold embroideries and embedded jewels.

When on royal business, she wears a necklace signifying her royalty, with a large non-degrading crystal with part of a human skull inside of it. This skull piece is believed to have been part of the first ever Krysa, who is believed to have been named Krysa and been the demigod daughter of the goddess Krissa.

She also wears chainmail between the cotton and silk, plus plate armour coated in leather and then the same silk. This armour is made of non-degrading Krysa crystal and is especially strong on her back because, in Alaros's words, "even on the battlefield, a ruler becomes more wary of the blades behind them than the ones ahead."

Her plate armour covers her boots, arms, legs, torso and the back of her neck. It's open at the joints for movement, where the chainmail is thicker and so the silk over it seems to bunch up even when her arms are straight.

She'll often swap this out depending on what she's doing, but she's consistently got protection of some kind against potential attackers.

Specialized Equipment

Carries 2 swords and eight knives, as well as a small round-shield slung over her back. Anything else she has to grow with her crystal abilities. The small shield is actually better for self defense than a large one would be, and if she's in a battle she can simply take a large shield from a soldier.

Bigger shield = battles because in battle you're more likely to get hit by a blow you don't see than one you do, so cover as much of your body as possible. If you get tired then take the next opportunity to swap places with your mates behind you (this was an actual thing. The Romans especially perfected it to ensure that whoever was at the front was always fresh and energetic, and they got themselves a nice little empire. Movies neglect it cos they think it's boring but tiredness is a huge factor in warfare both in history and the modern day, and is similarly a big thing in Lamaran warfare).

Smaller shield = self defense because you're gonna see any blows coming and so long as you can put that shield between the enemy attack and yourself you're good, so a smaller one that can be moved quicker and won't wear you down as quickly - keep in mind in a self defense situation you don't have people behind you to swap places with - is better. Keep in mind she can literally grow armour on herself too, so if something somehow slides off her shield and will still hit her or someone manages to maneuver their weapon around her shield then she's both got armour protecting her and the means to make more in a fraction of a second.

Mental characteristics

Personal history

I would like you to imagine giving birth to a baby with a bunch of knives sticking out of it. Yup. That's how Krysala's mother, Krissa, died.

Krysa are able to harden their flesh and bone into crystal, and grow crystal from their skin. Either type of crystal is ridiculously strong.

Normally, they exhibit the former ability during infancy, and the latter aged around 7 years of age. Y'know, helps reduce the odds of a mother getting fucking impaled while breastfeeding because she accidentally scratched the baby with her nail, or experiencing the equivalent of birthing Edward Scissor-Hands but if he had scissors everywhere.

Krysala, however, just had to do it early, didn't she? Babies always thinking they're special smh. For real though she could probably do it from sometime earlier in gestation, and did it while being born because of being born being a bit of a stressful experience...

especially when it's during a month-long that comes every decade and a half to spam the thunder sound effect so much that the religious explanation behind it is that the God-Maker is spamming @everyone in the Divine Discord to assert dominance.

Anyway, Krysala was successfully grabbed by her head and yanked out to prevent her blade fuckery from killing her ma, Krysala's ma died anyway, and now a tragic death caused by something that's literally never happened in known history gets used for politics.

The knife-baby part was left out of it to prevent Krysala from being viewed as some kinda demon baby, the secret being kept because everyone at the birth was someone that Krissa and her husband, Alaros, could legitimately trust.

Regardless, it was still known that Krissa had died in childbirth, and the new ruler was a literal baby.

War of the Baby:

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GAMBLING GAME TIME! NOW THAT THE COUNTRY'S RULER CANNOT RULE, WHO WILL TRY TO TAKE POWER?:

- Alaros, Krysala's father. He's in the room where Krissa dies, and has the advantage of being the first to know and make his moves.

- Krysmila, Krysala's aunt and heir. She was Krissa's older sister and has always argued that she therefore should've gotten the throne.

- Kiffla, Krysala's 5th cousin and known for being inbred. His great great great grandfather lost to a rebellion and was exiled to an island to die while his nephew was installed as the new ruler.

- Esma, Krysala's 2nd cousin who leads a huge slave army she inherited from her father and whose father inspired Krissa's Slave Village Project. She believes that any Krysa should be allowed to vie for the throne as Krissa's mother and Krysala's grandmother (same person), Jalana, did.

- Garum, the Serarck (mayor but hereditary) of the Capital. Wants to make Krysala his puppet and use that to further enrich the Capital, and is extremely confident in the city's defenses.

- Atlas, a pirate who pops up from fucking nowhere. The guy only has 300 people spread across 5 ships.

- Telassa, the Speaker for the Rabbit in a cult that worships a biologically immortal and in many ways exceptional but in terms of behaviour and intelligence fairly normal rabbit.

- Untenma, leader of the Cult of Lussa, a cult, travelling circus, mobile drug empire and litterer of unwanted children into every settlement they pass through all in one that worships the pursuit of personal pleasure, primarily through drugs and sex. Has conspiracy theories surrounding her suggesting she's an immortal shapeshifter who's run the cult since its inception, and while immortality in humans is so rare as to be nearly nonexistent (nobody's pulled it off deliberately, at the very least) there's an entire magic family with limited shapeshifting abilities called the Gosha.

- Rot Willer, general of the Skull Parade army, one of the largest among the Monarch's personal ever-moving armies. Good god who the fuck named their kid Rot?

The answers are: Everyone except Untenma, who sells nightwake, a drug used in war due to it being like if the concept of caffeine itself took steroids and started lifting, to all sides. Cult of Lussa, never change. The fact that you don't is the basis of countless conspiracy theories.

The first matchup was between Esma and Kiffla in the North. Esma offered that she could join him as Monarch's Alter, whose job is basically to run the nation if the ruler doesn't feel like it (a position almost never given as it invites rebellion), and that after taking the throne they could pressure the Gods' Tongue into legalizing polygamy, which would let them consolidate their alliance with a marriage despite both already being married. Neither of them had a strong enough force to take the throne, but would stand a much better chance together.

Kiffla responded by calling her a slave-loving whore who sought to undermine the blood purity and superiority of Lamara with her slave integration programs, and stated that the only reason he didn't challenge her to a duel for control over both armies was that she would surely cheat rather than fight with honour. He was right about that last part, and Esma faked a setup to make it seem like she received the letter late so that he wouldn't expect her to launch a surprise attack that routed his forces.

Even with some of the survivors among Kiffla's forces joining her, she knew she now didn't stand a chance at seizing the throne and so travelled with her horde under the guise of merely being there to support someone else's right to rule - not specifying who in case they got their asses beat and dragged her down with them - as she commandeered countless ships along the East Coast.

Meanwhile, the Serarck and Alaros duked it out within the capital. Alaros had palace guards hidden among the garrison, who worked for the Serarck, to spread false reports of an army already being near the city. The Serarck, believing in his advantage of numbers enough that he still had the majority of his men on the walls to keep out this supposed army, lost to Alaros's forces, underestimating the sheer capability of the royal guards - especially the champions among them like Lindra, who grabbed the Serarck by his head and swung him around so hard and fast that his body - except his spine - went flying off from his head.

Alaros installed his friend Glemos, a cousin of the deceased Serarck, as the new Serarck and took control of the city's garrison forces. He'd been careful in how he focused his champions on taking out the Serarck to ensure a quick victory with as few of those garrison chaps they'd need soon as possible dying in the process.

Next matchup, Krysmila vs Atlas vs Telassa. Krysmila's daughter.

Loma, almost immediately took the Divine Rabbit hostage to force the rabbit cultists to join Krysmila's ranks. Loma still has that fucking rabbit by the way, keeping it as a big fluffy pet and waving off attempts by the cult to take her to court to get the rabbit back.

The pirates tried to escape when Krysmila's son, Kaful, launched himself into a catapult onto the pirate flagship and made a ceremonial human sacrifice of the pirate captain even as the pirate captain tried in vain to hack at him with his shortsword, declared that the pirates may be forgiven for their crimes if they join his retinue. After killing Atlas's wife, who tried to stab him while his back was turned, he had control over the remaining pirates.

Both of these were tiny additions to Krysmila's army, and she could've done better by killing them and then pretending their numbers had been far greater than they were to make the victory more prestigious, except she didn't want to upset the Mountain King whose army made up a good sixth or so of Krysmila's military power, more like a quarter when the competence of the Mountain King and his generals is noted. The Mountain King took extreme value in honour, backing up Krysmila because he legitimately considered her claim the most legitimate, missing out on cashable favours and outwardly saying he wanted nothing but wise rule in return.

Next, Esma's slave army and the Skull Parade army, lead by General Rot. Esma's fleet was subject to a sea storm, so she had her army go on land with the ships to avoid their destruction cos that was one fucking nasty storm.

For any unsure of why Esma has a slave army that doesn't cut her throat in her sleep and then run free, slaves in Esma's turf were the first to get something similar to a Slave Village program, in which they were tasked with setting up villages and literally just living in them... like normal commoners. On top of that, she's not the one who enslaved them, as it was her parents who made a more-or-less perpetual raiding party constantly spilling mountains of slaves into their land. There are rumours that Esma had slave friends growing up and that she's hinted that she'd have freed them if it were legal (no freeing foreign slaves allowed), although it's likely that these are just rumours she spread on purpose to further secure the loyalty of the slaves who outnumber the commoners in her territory by around 9 to 1 (yup, her parents organized and lead kidnapping on such a scale that their territory ended up being 90% slaves).

Even with her huge slave army, the majority of Esma's forces consisted of allies who were supporting her claim to the throne.

The Skull Parade was forced to go around a mountain range by the same storm. Esma's forces ended up with the Skull Parade's directly behind them, and Esma sent a messenger back asking if the general was up for them joining forces with the same Monarch / Monarch's Alter + marriage deal she'd offered Kiffla. Rot told her he'd agree if she gave him all of her slaves to be his property.

Rot's son killed him for even considering the offer, since Rot's wife and the mother of his son was still alive. Rot's son, Gelf, then tried to take control of the army but was killed by Ugred, Rot's actual second-in-command, and this quickly spiraled into the Skull Parade ripping itself apart.

Esma took advantage of the chaos because each of the fractured portions was smaller than her own army, going for the smallest pieces and encircling them before demanding that they swear loyalty to her or die. If they refused at first, she'd give them ten minutes to let their most eager fighters come to the front, then have her forces go in and slaughter them before pulling back after about a third of them were killed, and then ask again. Half of what remained would be killed if they refused again. And the last third if they refused 3 times. Most surrendered after the first slaughter, growing Esma's forces.

Esma more or less absorbed the entirety of the Skull Parade Army and then began marching to the Capital.

Another matchup: Alaros vs Krysmila.

Krysmila got right up to the capital and began sieging it. Then Alaros's allies showed up.

Problem: Alaros's allies were on the opposite side of Krysmila's forces to the capital. Rather than immediately attack Krysmila's forces, they set up camp some distance away as it was nightfall, seemingly unconcerned by the possibility of a night attack by Krysmila's forces.

Then they started lighting the fires. Alaros's friend among the allies, Klomos, had everyone get their soldiers to spread out and make multiple fires each.

This scared the shit out of Krysmila, who thought that every one of those fires represented several soldiers sitting and eating together. A force already twice the size of her own - Krysmila was still waiting on many of her allies as she'd sought to seize the crown as quickly as possible rather than wait for them - looked easily ten times larger.

Krysmila opened communications with the city the next day. Rather than admit her treason, she pretended she'd merely been mistaken about what was going on, thinking the Serarck had successfully taken the palace and claiming she'd come to rescue Krysala. This was obvious bullshit but a force that's trapped and is around half the size of your own is one that you'll lose a lot of troops taking out so Alaros let this one slide and incorporated her and her forces into his army.

The final clash: Esma vs Alaros.

Esma and Alaros's armies were about equal. The vassals who would've flocked to Krysmila instead flocked to Esma, plus Esma was able to gather even more vassals behind her. Krysmila and some of her personal forces disappeared from among Alaros's, but the rough equality between both sides remained.

Esma came upon the city to find no army camped outside of it. The whole army was up on its walls and those of its weapons that had the longest range were already being used against her army, who couldn't do anything in response yet due to the height advantage. Lindra is known to have thrown rocks even further than the greatest bows could reach, and complained that being so high up meant that she couldn't make the rocks she threw bounce along the ground through multiple people to land many kills with every toss.

Esma, undeterred, had her soldiers dig tunnels to go underneath the battlefield and emerge right in front of the city's defenses, except for those pushing the siege engines who kept going under heavy fire. Problem for her: Alaros had already had the siege engines Krysmila had tried to use on the city placed atop the Backtowers, great towers behind the walls. They fired nets full of smallish (head-sized), cone-shaped rocks, which broke apart in the air to make it rain rock upon the field of enemies.

Okay, some rocks hit the ground. So what? You have no idea how fucking tall the Capital's outer walls are. The rocks fell from such a ridiculous height that they hit what's called an equilibrium of acceleration, where they're moving so fast that the force of the air resistance due to that speed is equal to the force due to gravity. These rocks, being cone-shaped, ended up falling point-down with almost no air resistance, and the sheer height of the wall meant they were able to reach their stupidly high equilibrium of acceleration during their fall.

When they hit the ground, they'd already smashed right through any siege engines, any shields held above heads and so on of the attackers on the way. Then, they went deep underground, piercing right into many of the tunnels Esma had her soldiers build, collapsing them and often killing those inside.

Esma's response was to pull her forces back and try to think of another plan. She had her forces pull the same trick Alaros's allies had done of lighting lots of fires, but even with their seemingly inflated numbers Alaros's forces didn't flinch after how well things were going for them.

The Capital had not been seized by outside forces without internal help for all of recorded history, the city itself being older than that. Always, it kept growing and new outer walls and better defenses were being built further out to accommodate the greater population, and any possible upgrades made to the remaining inner defenses.

Deep underneath it was the entrance to the realm of the Under-Folk, uncovered by miners, and the people of that realm had been made subservient to the dwellers of lands above after the tribe that leads among them, the Tepse, was given the power to conquer all others of the Under-Realm in the form of weapons in exchange for its loyalty. The fungal farms of the Under-Realm had enough excess to feed the city while it was under siege, and the Under-Realm also provided ores and strong rock good for reinforcements, repairs and replacement of weapons and fortifications alike, while the Tepse that ruled the Under-Realm received the benefits of more advanced technology than they would otherwise, although the means of making that technology themselves was deliberately kept secret from them by never making anything in front of them and pretending that all creations were made with magic.

You can't storm the city. You can't starve it out. And its residents can sometimes even make repairs to it faster than you can damage it. How the fuck is anyone supposed to take over a city like this?

Esma's next idea: Dig all the way to the Under-Realm, in doing so making a second entrance to it, arming the shit out of some non-Tepse tribes to get them on-side and have them guide her army to the other entrance, which they could spew forth from to take over the city.

Great plan, problem: Alaros didn't even need to anticipate that move because it's fucking stupid to anyone who knows how deep underground you need to be for it to have only been around 30 years ago that you were discovered by a society that mines tirelessly for every bit of ore it can.

Esma's allies turned on her and she, along with the entirety of her slave army, were killed.

And with that, Alaros won and was more-or-less the undisputed fella in charge of Lamara, albeit ruling with legitimacy provided by him ruling on behalf of the baby Monarch.

7 assassination attempts in a single day later, Alaros decided that the Royal Palace was no place for his daughter. On top of that, constantly dreading to hear that an assassin had managed to get past the guards was screwing up his ability to handle the country.

He granted a title and some land to his sister, Alma, and then sent Krysala to live with her. Along with Krysala were the Personal Guard of the Monarch, all but one of them being the same ones who'd loyally guarded and fought alongside Krysala's mother and then Alaros during the Baby War. In addition to this, he set the feudal obligations to his sister to being nonexistent, letting her afford an extensive guard, additions to the fortifications of the local forts and settlements and economic improvements to the area.

Most of the Royal Guard consists of relatives of vassals, it really being a way to hold the relatives of those vassals hostage at the same time as the vassals holding the Monarch and royals hostage through their relatives. After the Baby War, Alaros transferred around everyone in the Royal Guard so that none of those who got in by being related to vassals were in the Monarch Guard, and those who could be trusted to guard Krysala under more or less any circumstance were transferred into the Monarch Guard.

This resulted in the Monarch Guard consisting only of those who got in by their competence and loyalty, although the ones who got in by being the relatives of vassals did still have to be very competent (nothing that can't be achieved when your parents have the wealth to give you a lifetime of expensive training, plus you likely have literal magic abilities by sheer genetic lottery. Vassals obviously having a vested interest in getting their relatives into the guard to gain prestige, curry favours and be in a better position to betray the Monarch if need be).

This is widely looked upon as an insult to Lamara's nobility and honour, especially since it means the Monarch Guard now consists of people from low or even no nobility and some of whom gained their competence not from their parents paying for expensive training but unsavoury pasts.  

The Personal Guard Roster

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Lindra Tummen

Head of Krysala's personal guard and something of a mother figure for her. Has a knife cloak, a cloak made of knife sheathes - knives included - as throwing knives are her favourite weapon. She's 32 and has held the position for 14 years as the head of the royal guard was among those transferred after the Baby War.

Here's a really eerie video of her backstory. Only difference between it and the current canon is that Krissa was 3 months pregnant when they met:

Koska Koven

Spymaster of sorts for Krysala's personal guard, and probably the most prone to doting over Krysala. If you watch Lindra's eerie ass video she was the girl that Lindra saved, and 14 years later still works as Lindra's personal servant, with Lindra's only order to her being to help make sure Krysala is safe and happy.

She's 25, having been saved by Lindra when she was 11, and like her has - albeit unofficially - been in the guard for 14 years.

Specializes in making poisons and their antidotes, and has immunized herself to many poisons. Serves as Krysala's head food-drink tester - that's to say she force-feeds the food and drink to Muga and if they die she knows which poison was used from the death symptoms... you thought she'd test the food herself when there are some poisons you can't immunize yourself to?

Muga Aflef

Born to a minor and disgraced magic family. Their cells store oxygen and keep regenerating even after a given Aflef is dead, which when combined with an organ above their heart that stores extra oxygen and electrically shocks their heart every 5 minutes means they can often come back from the dead, especially if the cause of death is poison since they've also adapted all sorts of ways for their cells to purge poison post-death so that they can regenerate and revive. They're not as likely (almost never able) to come back from being stabbed or losing a limb, as then their body loses a lot of blood and resources with which to regenerate.

She's been in the Monarch Guard for 7 years and is 23, and was the replacement for the last Aflef poison tester, who was stabbed and their body thrown in a ditch by assassins as part of a plan to kill Krysala. That last poison tester was her older sister.

Ghislun Antel

A male Hami sort-of-slave. He's a Tummen due to being descended from some Tummens who fled Lamara to avoid being killed for being on the losing side of a civil war a couple centuries back. Jalana, Krysala's grandmother, formed strike teams that killed all the Tummens except the infants who they kidnapped, him having been one of them. He's 36 and, like Lindra, has incredible strength, but refuses to wear armour and fights with an anomalous spear he found in some ruins in the Black Forest when he was sent in to kill a tribal chief who was getting too powerful.

He's only been in the guard 3 years. The spear seemingly has a mind of its own and can take over his body at any time, making him fight so effectively that he doesn't need armour or any other equipment. He calls it the Jealous Spear because it makes him break any other equipment it "sees" him using. The spear itself is fucking huge, with a spearhead that's more like a massive sword blade and wide enough to be used as a shield, but the weight isn't a problem for him because Tummens.

Brija Brijild

Like Koska she's not an official member of the Monarch Guard. She's Krysala's personal slave, given to her by Alaros to serve as a bodyguard but more importantly as a friend as Alaros was under the impression that Krysala had no friends her own age.

Brijilds can shoot fire from their freckles, and are automatically slaves of the Crown at birth as punishment for their ancestors leading a rebellion. Those without freckles are farmed of their blood for use as fuel and used to create more Brijilds while those with freckles are separated from their parents and raised, indoctrinated and trained from birth to serve as soldiers utterly loyal to the Crown. Their main use in war is to go behind enemy lines and terrorise civilians, destroying the economies that support enemy armies and making the Brijilds utterly hated for how much destruction they've been used to enact on unarmed civilians.

Brija is 13 and has literally just joined.

Fetwini Jarlet

Not a real member of the guard but would endanger herself to protect Krysala because they're friends. Her Jarlet abilities let her do memory fuckery with blood, which is how Sarah is forced to speed-learn the Lamaran language despite wanting to learn it normally and as a result of the method it's forced into her brain ends up unable to walk for almost a month and has regular headaches.

Fetwini has two prosthetic legs since her original legs were chopped off in a religious sacrifice when she was 7. She's 14 and has been Krysala's friend for 4 years. She's brilliant with swords, with Ahanla being her teacher.

Ahanla Klementa

Master swordswoman. Was raised from birth to wield her sword, which holds major religious significance as it's believed to have belonged to the war goddess Hufnir herself. Is a Klemeta, so her brain processes everything differently, giving her hyper-awareness of her surroundings, making her experience time at a slower rate than most people and giving her complete control over her body. Many Klementas die as infants because they forget to keep breathing or keep their hearts beating, but those whose survival isn't sabotaged by their conscious mind having more control over their body than a normal person's can become ridiculously skilled at many things... and in Ahanla's case all that potential has been focused into swordsmanship.

The sword is near-unbreakable and extremely sharp, but quite heavy. She often has to move her body with the sword to wield it effectively.

Cheesa Delf

Has pointed ears like an elf due to being a halfing-human hybrid. Yeah this setting's equivalent to elves, who are literally just people with pointy ears, are halfling-human hybrids... also halflings are just a subspecies of human that got small on some islands and developed good ears to survive off of limited resources and avoid predators, but most have died out due to raiding by humans who want to sell them as exotic slaves.

Anyway, her job is making medicines as ones brought in from external sources could be poisoned. She's also a good cook and decent with an axe, but neither of those are real factors in her getting the job. Has a burning hatred for one of Lamara's sub-kingdoms, Klorfenz, for doing like 99% of the murdering of halflings and takes great pride in the number of attempts to kill Krysala by them - as they sided with Esma in the Baby War due to her being a vassal within their territory - that her presence has made impossible, plus a huge fan of Alaros because he made the clarification that halflings are humans under the law and as such so are halfling-human hybrids like Cheesa, so yeah can't imagine her turning traitor anytime soon.

Sarah Baily

Krysala's personal slave and the main character of the story. She confiscated her from her uncle, who bought her out of interest for her "medical condition", due to herself being similarly interested in it and wanting to carry out an experiment on her with Fetwini to see if Jarlets could be used to help those suffering from brain damage.

Essentially, Sarah snuck into the country by taking a slave soldier's uniform (thinking it was a regular soldier's uniform. Lowkey saved her own ass by going for a slave though as records are better kept on regular soldiers and she would've been caught), slammed a rock into the helmet to make a dent in it and then hit her own head with the rock. Just as she planned, everyone thinks her not understanding anything that's said to her and not speaking is due to brain damage and especially amnesia.

The experiment went wrong but also worked, despite the test subject being nothing like what the test was made for. Sarah instantly learns any Lamaran word that's said to her, but gets headaches in response that grow in severity the more new words are said and can even cause bleeding from her nose, eyes and ears. She's left with terrible body coordination and hand-eye coordination for months as Fetwini's muscle memory ends up being sent into Sarah - keep in mind Fetwini has two prosthetic legs - and develops schizophrenia in the form of Fetwini's voice. She has near-constant nightmares.

Kolmas Aslovak

Extremely skilled archer. Uses a bow almost as big as himself and has arrows containing compressed air that makes them go further and faster as the back end of the arrow is opened when he fires them. Has other specialised arrows.

Was formerly in a crew of pirates, who added him to their ranks so he could clean the decks after raiding a slave ship (he viewed them as his saviours for this). His job eventually became to shoot those on enemy vessels that would otherwise escape or put up too much of a fight, for which he developed a machine that could compress air into the arrows he fired so that they could be used over the vast distances at sea.

When the leader of these pirates was killed for trying to gain the crown in the Baby War and the crew incorporated into the personal forces of Krysmila and her children, he left to join Alaros's forces and from there was added to the Monarch Guard. His arrows and their production was incorporated into the Royal Military for the Cleanup War after the Baby War, a less interesting and far more one-sided war in which other pretenders to the throne rose up and Alaros purged them, during which these arrows granted a huge advantage.

He's been in the guard for 5 years.

Rosemat Mirun

Capable of telepathy over short distances with those who've eaten parts of her flesh that she grew "receiver cells" in at will. Gets splitting headaches when near some ancient buildings, and those who have telepathic connections with her get much smaller but still noticeable headaches when near these places too. Can also be mentally influenced by the presence of some anomalous items and artifacts, like the Baby Tree (human blood, sunlight, CO2 from the air and soil nutrients go in, literal human babies who almost always die due to cancers within a few years come out) basically making her increasingly drunk the closer she is to it.

The telepathy flesh-eating ability is indeed due to her being in a magic family - and yes it's the Mirun family.

Her loyalty comes mostly from her being a religious zealot who worships the Krysa and especially the royals. Her family are all telepathically connected and would pray together while engaged in their telepathy, which had something of a super-reinforcing effect on her religiousness.

Undobeg Begyar

Remember that Lesser Monarch who sided with Krysmila because he legitimately thought it best for the realm and cared a lot about honour? This is his grandson and the only exception to the "relatives of vassals gtfo" because he's very similar to his grandfather, who changed his mind after the war because of Krysmila coming off as spineless and corrupt and him coming to actually really like Alaros.

The Begyars have unusually long lifespans, often living for around 200 years at the cost of needing to eat more. Undobeg is 63 years old but looks like he's in his twenties, and as a result has a lot more combat experience and training under his belt than someone looking at him would think. His main weapons are a sword and shield, but he's good with a lot of other weapons and will use them when it's suitable.

He's skilled but lacks creativity, a common problem for Begyars, and so can be and has been beaten by less skilled opponents simply by them using unusual methods and tactics.

And about 43 others.
 

A Fascination With Death?

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Krysala was four when she first saw an execution while out shopping for medical ingredients with Cheesa and Glemoff (another of her personal guards), who were pretending to be her parents as part of ensuring nobody knew she was the Monarch and killed her. A man was force-fed a slug that electrically shocks anything that touches it, causing him to constantly spasm. He was then thrown onto a bed of thorns and told that if he survived he'd be freed. He was unable to keep himself still and so got so many cuts that he bled to death.

Cheesa and Glemoff had both tried to rip Krysala from the spot so that she wouldn't see it, but she grew crystal out of her feet, through her shoes and into the ground that rooted her to the spot. Refusing not to watch executions ended up just being a behaviour of hers until she was seven. She never cheered or seemed sad in response to them, seemingly being indifferent to the death and suffering but refusing not to watch it.

She similarly refused not to look at the killing of animals, which was common at markets.

It was likely through a passerby noticing the crystal underneath her shoes that it was possible for bandits to know she was a Krysa.
 

Kidnapped by Bandits

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jWhen Krysala was seven, Glemoff was killed and Cheesa injured by bandits on their way to the market. Krysala was kidnapped. Tont, Elj, Setra, Perun, Flazi, Koma and Hulba, whose turn it was to tail them and pose as simply also being people who lived at the fort and came down to buy things and pray at the Temple, were also killed, except Koma who immediately surrendered and let herself be captured, although the bandits still broke both her arms before taking her in. Cheesa was similarly captured.

Their goal was firstly to find out which noble family she was from and secondly to ransom her to that family, thinking she was a ward or betrothed into the local nobility but knowing that Krysa nobility tends to be much richer than anything in the local area. Cheesa and Koma would be sold into slavery.

Koma was able to break out despite her broken arms, and was able to fire a torch high into the air with a crossbow to alert Lindra to their location.

This is where we get to something about Lamaran bandit companies. In our own world, historical bandit groups were often a lot bigger than most modern gangs of muggers. Due to Lamara's high population and frequent civil wars (even when the Royal Government isn't dealing with pretenders to the throne like in the Baby War, there are vassals who fight amongst themselves or rebel against their liege to force them to change the vassal contracts to ones that better suit them), Lamara's can get even bigger.

Most of these are actually led by people of noble blood, who use their connections to help the success of their bandit companies. Bandits are often used by nobles who can't openly enact violence against their neighbours or their own people.

So, this bandit company that came into the area to kidnap and ransom Krysala had about 3,000 fighters in the quick camp they set up on the mountainside. Krysala was kept in a cave, the entrance to which was on that mountainside.

Lindra ripped and tore all the way through to Krysala, who saw her punch a man the size of a bear through the heart and kill about a dozen others with her bare hands, but ended up needing Krysala's help. Lindra hadn't been wearing her armour, having recently become capable of sleeping without it (and losing that capability again after this), when she'd heard that Krysala was taken and had rushed out without putting it on. She was covered in small injuries and needed Krysala firstly to block off the entrance to the part of the cave they were in, keeping further bandits out, and secondly to grow crystal over and around Lindra's injuries to stop the bleeding. They waited there, watching through the crystal as bandits were slaughtered, until they were gotten out by the surviving members of the Monarch Guard and the forces of Alaros's sister.

After this, Krysala lost all interest in watching executions and the killing of animals. That's not to say they put her off, but that she could have a conversation with someone while an execution was happening right next to them and completely ignore and be unaffected by it.
 

Learning of her Royalty

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Krysala was only taught about her being the Monarch when she was 10 in the hopes of her growing up humble and growing into the crown with it being her responsibility and duty rather than her property, luxury and source of power. The result seems to have become her viewing it as both, as she intends to act in the ways best for the realm but also often abuses her power over others for small personal gains, such as threatening executions to skip queues and splashing money on things she personally wants or likes.

Krysala was used to getting her way before anyway. Her eyes, scars (onto those in a bit) and general demeanor make her very intimidating, and she'll grow crystal from her skin before bringing up her royalty to intimidate others into bending to her will. Plus she was spoilt by some of those in the personal guard, particularly Cheesa and Koska, who she now considers annoying for how overbearing they are and their refusal to stop referring to her as "Krysalala", a pet name from her infancy.

A few weeks later, she met Fetwini while visiting a Temple and used her crystal abilities to grow Fetwini a pair of mechanical prosthetic legs, complete with them making rainbows whenever light is shone through them. A few weeks later Fetwini started living at the same fort as Krysala, which by this point of constantly being developed was more of a fortress, because Krysala learned that Fetwini was living by herself in a cabin after her parents kicked her out and ordered that Fetwini move in with her.
 

WARNING: EVERYTHING FROM HERE ON IS COVERED AS IT HAPPENS IN THE UPCOMING BOOKS AND SO CAN BE CONSIDERED SPOILERS

 

Meeting the main character

Show spoiler
From the perspectives of the actual characters in a story, there is no main character.

Sarah is actually from our world, having been brought into the Trickster's Afterlife after being shot while visiting her brother's grave. After some serious struggles surviving in the Black Forest, she sees the aftermath of a battle from the trees and that a small army, which look like they're from the same group as one of the sides from the battle, and quickly calculates that she can get to the battlefield and do a thing before the small army gets there.

She goes down, puts on a soldier's equipment, smashes a helmet with a rock and then her own head with the same rock. Then she lies among the bodies, only stumbling up once the small army has arrived.

Sure enough, they think she's one of their own and that her not speaking (she doesn't know Lamaran) is because of what must have been a serious blow to her head. It also helps that she happens to look Lamaran.

The only problem is that the equipment she put on was that of a slave soldier. Sarah ends up being doomed useless by the military corps that find her and so is auctioned off so they can get more weapons. She's bought by Krysala's uncle (married to Alaros's sister), who has a personal interest in amnesia.

Krysala has an interest in experimenting with Fetwini's Jarlet abilities, especially since the jarlets have closely guarded the secrets of their full capabilities for so long, and so confiscates Sarah from him for use in these experiments.
 

The Bandit Slayer

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Barely 14 years old, Krysala, by telling different lies to everyone about where she'd be that afternoon, was able to sneak out of the fort and go to a neighbouring county with a stolen kogi, a horse-like creature.

At a tavern in this county, she openly used her Krysa abilities to grow a crystal from herself that she used to pay the barkeep for a drink. When asked which drink she wanted she responded with just wanting a drink.

She drunk about a gulp and a half of her drink before leaving it there, walking out of the tavern and right into the nearest alleyway where she was immediately surrounded and told to reveal which noble family she was from. She said she was from the Delbas branch, the nearest one, and was guided at the point of various weapons into a carriage which took her to the bandit base.

When asked why she'd come out alone as she had by a man in the carriage, she said her family had pissed her off so she was going to make them pay a ransom for her.

The bandit group she was being taken by was small, being a sub-group with about 50 members that was just a part of a larger thousand-strong bandit army, but that was perfect for her purposes.

When she was taken into the base, within some ruins where she felt a slight headache, and met the bandit leader, she asked that everyone present prepare to fight or run away as she grew crystal armour over herself.

She killed seven of them before one of them pinned her down, relying on being physically stronger than her rather than trying to penetrate her armour. Others followed suit, which she responded to by growing barbed spiked from her armour, extending them to get the bodies off of herself, of which there were five.

She was hit in the side of her head with a warhammer. Despite her having grown crystal over her head to protect herself, the attacker kept driving their hammer along, pushing Krysa's head sideways. This was followed by them dropping their warhammer just as their friend, armed with a club, did the same from the other side. The effect was the same as how a one-two punch rarely does any damage to your skull but still knocks you out by making your skull and brain slam into each other and knocking you out.

Krysala wasn't quite knocked out, though, as she grew crystal from the side of her head that the club was coming from that made it slide off instead of hitting her directly. She cut the club wielder in two and then the arm and head of the hammer wielder in a single swing of a crystal blade she grew from her arm.

Over the course of the night, she killed them all. When she was done with about thirty of them, the rest ran away. She killed them too.

Throughout her childhood, she'd been being taught how to use her abilities to defend herself in addition to her lessons on warfare, economics, religion, tradition and intrigue.

She brought their heads in the carriage with her to a bounty office and was disappointed by how little the heads of the bandits were worth. Apparently, none of them were particularly noteworthy bandits, being a skeleton guard to maintain the monopoly on banditry within the area while the competent three quarters of their sub-group, which normally numbered 200, were out pillaging a neighbouring county on behalf of the local nobility as part of the larger thousand-strong group.

That neighbouring county was the one Krysala had come from.

Because Lindra and the Monarch Guard were looking for Krysala, they only looked over the bandits and the settlements they were targeting to check Krysala wasn't either captured/killed by them or going to be, and then ignored them to keep looking for Krysala. The local army of Alaros's sister could not move as quickly as Lindra's guard, so the villages were doomed without Lindra's intervention.

6 villages that Lindra would've helped to protect were allowed to be burnt down because finding and ensuring the safety of Krysala was considered more important. 500 people were killed and 300 enslaved, and far more injured and left in their burning, looted homes.

When Krysala was found back at the fort, hoping to impress Lindra with how she'd killed fifty bandits and so didn't need to be so overprotected, Lindra slapped her so hard she was flung across the room and left the fort with the guard to hunt down the bandits and save those who'd otherwise be enslaved.

Getting out of being enslaved once you've been sold at least once is extremely difficult, even if you were enslaved illegally. Most mass-freeing of slaves is only achieved when those whose territory they used to live in are able to threaten their kidnappers into returning them.

The local noble of that county tried to have the bandits placed under their protection to stop Lindra from killing them because their leader was his nephew, but she did it anyway. This almost started a localised civil war as Lindra and the Monarch Guard were posing as soldiers of Alaros's sister to hide the fact that Krysala was living in the fort of Alaros's sister, but Lindra shut down any chance of that by reminding the noble that Alaros was running the country and that attacking his sister was therefore suicidal.

Alaros learned of all of this. Krysala got the message that her position as Monarch means that doing stupid shit at the wrong times can literally cost lives, and that you can never be sure when a wrong time is. Alaros got the message that Krysala needed something to do.
 

Meeting Brija

Show spoiler
Brija was a slave because of her Brijild heritage, Brijilds having led a rebellion long ago and their descendants still being punished for it to this day. Since Brija is a freckled Brijild and so has fire abilities, her use as a slave was to be as a soldier, for which she was separated from her parents at birth and raised into a wing of the Temple loyal to the Monarch.

The Tournament of Hufnir is a 256 contestant fighting tournament, goal being to disable or knock out your opponent rather than kill them (but "accidents" happen). Before even getting to compete, the competitors are requires to go up against and kill 5 armed slaves as a sacrifice to Hufnir. If the slaves win, they're able to demand vast wealth and privileges, including their freedom, but this almost never happens.

Brija snuck in among the slaves that were meant to be sacrificed. She and four grown men were given time to put on armour and weapons from a wide selection and brought into the arena, where the other slaves charged ahead of her knowing they were going to die either way.

The one they were sacrificed by was a Tummen who, upon seeing Brija, said that he'd rather be disqualified from the competition than kill a child. Brija, gathering up her courage, exploded forwards fire from her back and legs propelled her forwards into a single kick to the Tummen's head, knocking them out in a single blow.

Brija was declared the winner and asked her wish. Her wish was that if she defeated every opponent in the tournament, she could by part of Krysala's personal guard. Alaros granted her wish.

She won the next round against a Lesser Krysa. Their crystal conducted heat unlike that of normal Krysa, and so Brija was able to force them to detach from the crystal they hid behind by burning it, which then allowed Brija to launch herself around and swing into yet another knockout kick... she's got a pattern.

In the third round, her opponent didn't show up, so Brija won by default. Thinking that since she'd technically not actually defeated this opponent Alaros would use this to avoid letting her near his daughter - Brija was quite used to her words being used against her like this - Brija found her opponent's house and threatened to burn it down if they didn't come up to the nearest temple to fight her.

Her opponent, a Skelvir (they can grow their bones from their bodies in weird ways, like growing bone weapons or exoskeleton armour. Most often it looks like they're growing bone branches from themselves), told her to fuck off cos she was busy taking care of her sickly sister.

Brija set their house on fire and went in, and got the shit kicked out of them by that Skelvir.

The Skelvir was then considered the winner and Brija lost the competition.

Despite this, Alaros take her as a guard and scribe until his next visit to Krysala, where she was given to Krysala.

This was done mostly because of Alaros being under the impression that Krysala has no friends, plus he simply felt bad for Brija. He's also opposed to the treatment of Brijilds, and it's one of those things he doesn't have that much power to change because the vassals wouldn't accept the decision to free them from him, but they might accept it from Krysala once she takes the reigns as ruler.

The idea those being punished for the sins of their ancestors can be forgiven could have further implications regarding it being the basis on which non-Lamarans are enslaved for being present in the peninsula.
 

Errand Princess Meets the Cave People

Show spoiler
Alaros visited Krysala with three goals in mind: replenish her personal guard with more loyal members to suit the increased danger of the last point.

Secondly, to bring Krysala a starting friend before beginning her many journeys. This was Brija.

Thirdly, tasking Krysala with carrying out various errands across the realm.

Her first task was to head back to the capital and collect the tribute from the Under-Folk.

The Under-Folk are a subterranean people. The only known entrance to their realm is in the Capital, where millennia of mining for strong stone to use in buildings and iron ore led to an entrance to their realm, dozens of miles below ground, being found. Their realm boasts massive biodiversity, with great caverns lit by bioluminescents.

The Trepse tribe among them receives modern Lamaran weapons and armour, with which it subjugates the other tribes, and in return pledges its loyalty and gives tribute to whoever the current Monarch is. The Trepse follow the Lamaran religion, but especially venerate the goddess Krissa and, as an extension of that, the Krysa. They believe that Krissa cares about them especially, and that the existence of the great many crystals under the ground are a gift from her, and a great gift at that as these varied crystals serve many purposes for them from jewelry to tools and weapons to agriculture (there's a type of crystal that can be crushed into fertilizer. This same crushed up fertilizer can be used as food when added to water, but this, to put it lightly, tastes like total dogshit).

Krysala has 4 purposes here:

1. Collect the tribute. This consists of them filling countless elevators powered by animals (don't let that fool you into thinking these are small. Animals in the Trickster's Afterlife can be very powerful, and have magic abilities that have been evolved over far more generations than anything humans have) with ores and sending them up.

2. Gather information about what's happening in the Under-Realm. Last time the tribute was collected, it was found that the Trepse are far from subjugating all of the tribes, and themselves have no idea how large the Under-Realm is. How stable their rule over the other tribes is is similarly unclear, especially since the very system by which they maintain their rule is unknown.

3. Further ensure the loyalty of the Trepse. Currently, their loyalty seems like a certainty but you never know.

4. Deliver the weapons and armour for them.

Does she succeed? What other errands does she go on? You'll never know until I publish the books lol.

Gender Identity

Gorl.

Sexuality

idk. I'll write her as having a sexuality when she 's older within the story.

Education

Strategy, tactics, economics, literature, philosophy, the use of various weapons in conjunction with her abilities, wilderness survival, mathematics, what information was available about science and so on. She's a learned kid.

Employment

No-time Monarch of the known world's only country.

Accomplishments & Achievements

Killing 50 bandits by herself, even if they were pretty easy compared to regular bandits. Her experiment with Sarah sort]-sort of worknig.

Failures & Embarrassments

Getting like 500 people killed.

Intellectual Characteristics

Extremely intelligent.

Personality Characteristics

Motivation

Have a stable rule once she takes over. She also wants to go down in history as a great ruler, like her mother and very unlike her grandmother.

Part of her goals as part of both of these is to expand on the railway. Currently Lamara has only one train and with it a single railway as the only source of fuel they can use is Brijild blood, however she wants to sponsor travels across and beyond the Known World to find and capture live specimens of potentially useful creatures and plants. She's especially interested in any that might produce substances that could be used for trains.

Another of her plans is conquer the Sea Peoples and proclaim them Lamaran. This sounds weird on paper since they're clearly not Lamaran, but by Krysala's religious logic they get to live without fear of monsters due to their monster-repellent seaweed and at-sea lifestyles, and so were clearly given the seaweed because they were just as free of sin as the Lamarans, who were brought to Lamara - a land without monsters - as a reward for being sinless. The Temple has yet to put an official statement out, but she thinks they simply got lost looking for Lamara and the gods gave them the seaweed to protect them on their journey.

She wants to encourage new technologies and have them integrated into the royal military, and especially to expand the power of both the Crown and the Temple at the expense of the vassals. She doesn't like how the vassals are able to determine who the Monarch is by virtue of them collectively having the most armies.

Due to Brija and knowledge of Esma, she's also seeing the potential value in making Lamara's slaves, most of whom belong to her, loyal to her. This one has to be extremely carefully balanced with how much it will piss off the Lamaran people, vassals and especially the Temple.

She wants her personal retinue to contain one person of every magic family. There are a lot of magic families.

Virtues & Personality perks

Brave. Sometimes kind, especially to those far lower than herself.

Vices & Personality flaws

Arrogant. Stubborn. Impatient. Often extremely callous, although for a ruler maybe the ability to disregard the suffering of others is a good thing. Greedy. Prone to violence and threats of it.

Hygiene

Obsessively hygienic.

Social

Hobbies & Pets

Over 100 dogs and dog-like creatures. Two of them are utterly massive, one being an albino Hamiko and the other an unclear wolf-like species.

Wealth & Financial state

Most of Lamara's slaves belong to her, even if most of those are on technicalities.

The Unending Vault belongs to her. It's what it sounds like.

Ownership of many anomalies, even though the Temple handles them.

A country's tax revenue, even if only after layers of vassals taking large cuts for running the areas these taxes are collected from.

Vast collections of jewelry and such.
Current Status
In a boxing match with a 12 foot tall kangaroo
Currently Boarded Vehicle
Honorary & Occupational Titles
Oh man, let's not get into those.
Age
14
Date of Birth
-14 Pre-Sarah. On the Lamaran calendar she was born in the year 9237, although that calendar also started on the year 8000.
Circumstances of Birth
Daughter of a ruler who died giving birth to her.
Birthplace
The Royal Palace built around Mount Krysal
Children
Current Residence
With the Amossi clan in Defford.
Gender
female
Eyes
Blood red.
Hair
Would normally be light brown but is blonde due to her sometimes growing crystal from her scalp.
Skin Tone/Pigmentation
Very pale. Krysa skin is not the same as that of normal humans.
Height
4'11
Owned Vehicles
Belief/Deity
Lamaran Faith. Officially dedicated to Krissa and the God-Builder, but really likes Hufnir and Kamut.
Known Languages
Every native Lamaran language. This includes the language that the Trepse tribe speak. Most important

Hamigola, which is sort of a common tongue among the Hami. It's spoken in the coastal Mid-East of the Black Forest, the most populous of the Hami lands.

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