House of Nerrolar

From MicrasWiki
Jump to navigationJump to search

The House of Nerrolar, a southern Benacian offshoot of the Shirerithian Line of Mortis, which occupied an eminent position in both Shireroth and Minarboria for many years. Founded by Kaiser Mors IV, who had taken on the epithet Nerrolar - "Arbiter" - and later adopted it as a sort of surname, the House consists of Mors himself, and "any descendants that may be derived from my undead flesh".

While Mors himself is not confirmed to be permanently dead and may therefore technically produce other descendants in the future, as matters stand his only known eligible descendants have consisted of the royal house of Tiěyá, which at Minarboria's height was one of the Empire's Cibolan territories. At the fall of the Empire, the remaining membership of the House fled to Kalgachia; the current heir is a citizen there. With the apparent death of Mortis heir, and Minarborian Second State Arborist, Shyriath Farstrider during the fall of Minarboria, it appears that the Nerrolars may now also represent the entirety of the Line of Mortis.

The Sword of Death, a Mortis heirloom which was in Mors' possession while Kaiser, was later given to Shyriath, who in turn carried it with him to Minarboria. It was apparently stolen back by Mors prior to the fall of Minarboria, and may possibly remain within Kalgachi territory.

Mors Nerollar was admitted to the Order of the Holy Lakes in 1521 AN. As such, he and his descendants, and any lawfully contracted spouses thereof, are Knights and Ladies of the Holy Lakes of Hurmu.

The Mortis Catechism

For many generations, the members of the Line of Mortis have used, as a form of identification, a ritual question and answer: the Mortis Catechism. This usage is carried on by the House of Nerrolar, which considers it one of their most sacred traditions. They are reluctant to reveal it to outsiders or to tolerate its use by them.

When the Father went forth, who was his son?
When the Brother was seated, who stood by his side?
When the Sword was passed on, who awaited it?
When the God called, who answered Him?

The Merchant of Death.

The Catechism is a reference to the legendary origins of the Line of Mortis as one of the original three derived from the first Kaiser, Raynor I. The "Father" refers to Raynor himself; the "Brother" is the second Kaiser, Brrapa I, Raynor's middle child and the ancestor of the Line of Metzler; the "Sword" is the arcane weapon known as the Sword of Death, a family heirloom; the "God" is Mors, Cedrist god of death and ofttimes patron of the family; and the "Merchant of Death" is Mortis, the youngest son of Raynor, who frequently went into battle in the service of his father and his brother.

Notable Members

Mors Nerrolar

Mors Nerrolar, progenitor of the House

Born Mors Letifer Funestus of Mortis. After his second abdication as Kaiser of Shireroth, he became known as Mors Nerrolar, by which name he went thereafter. In Tiěyá, where for a time he ruled as a warlord, he was known unofficially as Pàn Sǐrén 判死人.

Pàn Shuānghuā

Pàn Shuānghuā, the Sàohuáng Queen of Tiěyá

Born Geliflora Segovia Nerrolar. Spending a substantial portion of her childhood in Tiěyá, she chose the Tiěyánese personal name Pàn Shuānghuā 判霜花 in adulthood; however, she was better known as the Sàohuáng Queen, the use of personal names being taboo for royalty.

Pàn Tiǎomín

Pàn Tiǎomín, the Royal Princess Guāngmíng

Pàn Tiǎomín 判窕珉, titled the Royal Princess Guāngmíng, was born in 62 AL at the Royal Palace in Héchéng, capital of Tiěyá. The first child of the Sàohuáng Queen, under Tiěyá's Basic Law she was her mother's heir. The Queen, believing firmly in the virtue of learning by immersion, gently banished her from the palace in her teens to spend several years living among the common people and holding down an everyday job; having survived this, she returned to begin her tutelage in statecraft and to be rendered into lichdom. She was later appointed by her mother to oversee the Tiěyánese colonies in Nordmark, a possession under the jurisdiction of Empress Lyssansa. In 112 AL, she married Zhāng Xiǎogǎn 張小桿, a bureaucrat in her service.

By 128 AL, the degeneration of Minarboria and the loss of many lichly civil servants caused the collapse of the Nordmark administration, and the pair fled back to Héchéng, which they administered in the name of the Queen (who, at the time, was in Minarboria proper, searching for her lost father). There, fearing for the future, they submitted genetic material to the Royal Creche; their son, Kǎi​xù, was decanted the following year. As conditions continued to worsen even within Tiěyá itself, the royal couple began to realize that Cibola was lost, and, in desperation, sent their son in 138 AL to Minarboria, where they hoped the Queen or the Empress would be able to protect him.

The Royal Princess Guāngmíng and her husband remained in Héchéng until at least 140 AL, where they were last known to be in the Royal Palace. It is believed that, when they felt their end nearing, they laid themselves to rest in the crypt there; certainly they were either unable or unwilling to object when human authorities took authority in the name of a resurgent Treisenberg, or when the same authorities disestablished Tiěyá.

Pàn Kǎi​xù

Pàn Kǎi​xù 判凱續, titled the Royal Prince Ānxiáng, was born in 129 AL at the Royal Palace in Héchéng. He was the only son of the Royal Princess Guāngmíng, and the only grandson of the Sàohuáng Queen. At the time of his birth, the Empire of Minarboria was waning, and the lich-heavy bureaucracy of Tiěyá was crippled by undead lethargy. Kǎi​xù grew up amidst the tense atmosphere of a palace apparatus struggling to maintain control over a country that was slipping away; although he was sheltered from the worst news, he saw less and less of his parents as he grew up. In 139 AL, when he was nearly ten years old, his parents sent him to the Imperial Shrublands to be in the care of his grandmother, the Sàohuáng Queen; he would never see them again.

When he arrived, however, the situation was only slightly less dire than in Tiěyá. While enough of a government apparatus remained to verify his identity and escort him to Sansabury, the capital of Minarboria, the city was even then in crisis, facing riots and hemorrhaging residents to the surrounding countryside. He remained within the Imperial Palace for months while the remnants of the Second State Arbor attempted to locate the Sàohuáng Queen, who had disappeared into the countryside in search of her father. As more liches went dormant and the Mandarin Guards finally scattered in the face of mobs attempting to storm the walls of the Shrubbery, Kǎi​xù was finally bundled out of the city again and sent northward, toward his grandmother's last known location and the safety of the mountains that other refugees had already noticed. His guards were killed by Laqi bandits, who, taking a certain amount of pity on the boy, kept him captive. Although he did not tell them of his ancestry, they nonetheless hoped to ransom him off to someone - or, failing that, train him up as a new recruit - but when their loyalties were bought by the nascent government in Oktavyan and their gold mines, the cossacks cheerfully released Kǎi​xù in a vaguely populated area east of what is now Abrek and wished him luck.

He joined the household of a Lywaller family in Mirth, who effectively became his surrogate family. While Kǎi​xù had not been trained in a vocation, he had been educated, and when the family opened a dry goods store in their home in 146 AL, much of the inventorying and bookkeeping fell to him. Whether because of his association with Lywallers or merely appreciation of his good fortune in finding a new life, he gained a reputation locally for his good humor; this, together with the frequent mispronunciation of his name, led to him being persistently referred to as "Cadgy" Pan. He spent most of the next two decades there, working at the store, while Mirth and its surrounds grew to have a reputation worthy of its name. He adapted as well as anyone could expect, especially to the teachings of Ketherism, which offered a compass that the half-remembered religion of his youth did not.

In the winter of 165 AL, he met Calumma Sheth, an attractive young Kalgachi woman sixteen years his junior. A native of Fort Fortitude who had traveled to Mirth for some seasonal revelry, he was hopelessly smitten with her; though she departed for home soon afterward, he kept in contact with her, and left Mirth the following year to remain with her. The pair married shortly thereafter, and settled in Khalsk, a village on the Schelpogora side of the lieutenancy border with Lithead, just opposite Tealsburrow. The marriage was only briefly happy before showing increasing cracks; to Calumma, Kǎi​xù was comforting but too easily appeased, too content to let things be, while for Kǎi​xù, Calumma was funny and stunningly beautiful, but endlessly vain and ambitious, expecting greater things from a world that could not always be expected to provide them. The marriage might have been ended, had it not been for the birth in 168 AL of the couple's only child, whose sudden presence in their lives prompted them to stay together. Though Kǎi​xù wished to name her in the Tiěyánese fashion, Calumma insisted on a name that was less foreign and more impressive; yielding to her wishes, their daughter was named Chlorocyphida.

The marriage continued to worsen. Kǎi​xù was perfectly happy to remain a store clerk, while Calumma, a horticulturalist, dabbled in other pursuits that would bring her more attention - particularly singing, which combined with her looks managed to get her onto television once - and mercilessly hounded him to similarly expand his horizons. His main refuge was his daughter, who was not much like either of her parents but a good girl nonetheless, and tried his best to shield her from his marital discord while his wife tried her best to make her useful around the home.

When Chlorocyphida left to attend Gymnasium in 180 AL, Kǎi​xù was proud but also increasingly isolated. His wife's exhortations had long since turned to scorn and verbal abuse, and what little defense he had mustered against it crumbled away to resigned acceptance. Suffering from depression and nervous breakdowns, his health began to fail him, and he died in 190 AL.

Chlorocyphida Pan

Chlorocyphida Pan, aka Pàn Qīnglíng

Chlorocyphida Pan was legally named so at the insistence of her mother, though she was nonetheless privately christened Pàn Qīnglíng 判蜻蛉 by her father, in Tiěyánese fashion. She was born in 168 AL in Khalsk, a small farming town in southwestern Schlepogora Lieutenancy, on the road between Tealsburrow and Oktokamensk. Unlike her father, Chlorocyphida rarely laughed or smiled; she was not, at least at first, a grouchy or discontented child, but sober to the point of being grave. Some of her fondest memories of her early life involve those many times that her father attempted to get her to crack a smile, especially when he succeeded. Her relationship with her mother was considerably cooler, and worsened over time; aside from the impression left by the way her parents interacted, Calumma rarely saw fit to take an interest in her daughter except to issue commands or react if they were not obeyed.

Chlorocyphida was both studious and obedient; she did well in school and was praised for attentiveness at Church services. Nevertheless, she did not bond well with those her own age, who were put off by her serious demeanor and her lack of interest in play. She became taciturn around those she did not know and like, and preferred to socialize with adult authority figures, who she felt understood her better; among the factors souring her relationship with her mother was the tendency of the latter to insist that she "stop pretending to be an adult" and leave her betters alone. Nonetheless, the habit served her well during her Urchagin, where, arms folded across her chest, she eloquently insulted the ancestry, descendants, appearance, personal hygiene, and culinary taste of the most offensive guards during Yoke Week, occasionally for half an hour at a time.

Her admission to the Lithead Gymnasium in 180 AL was a source of intense pride for both parents - though she felt that in her mother's case it was more a matter of pride in herself rather than for her daughter - but for her it was an escape from a home life that felt increasingly intolerable. She took refuge in her studies, developing an increasingly keen interest in biology, and, by extension, the lost biomantic and necromantic techniques of Minarboria, though her curiosity about the latter remained woefully underfulfilled. What free time she kept clear was spent engaged in long, meandering walks and in shooting practice - originally to improve her odds of hitting specimens with tranquilizer darts, but eventually also out of satisfaction at hitting difficult targets.

Her visits home became increasingly painful, as it was clear that her father was suffering from both the absence of his daughter and the presence of his wife. Even Chlorocyphida was taken by surprise, however, when he passed away from a heart attack in 190 AL, all the more so because her mother had neglected to inform her until her subsequent visit. Calumma's stated reason for the omission - that she had not wanted to disturb her or impact her studies - proved hugely unsatisfactory, and after an exchange of words and the loss of several teeth by Calumma, Chlorocyphida departed home and returned to her studies, never to return or to speak to her mother again.

Graduating in 192 AL, Chlorocyphida could very likely have pursued a lucrative career, but instead chose a simpler life, purchasing a cottage on the outskirts of Fort Candycane and taking up the life of a goatherd. Goats, she felt, were clever enough to be interesting and had no expectations except to be fed and occasionally entertained. While she scrupulously attended Church services and even enrolled as a Church partisan, she was able to spend much of her time alone with her goats, and enjoyed a period of badly needed peace and solitude. This, however, was brought to an abrupt halt three years later, when an encounter with her great-great-grandfather, Mors, resulted in her unwilling acquisition of the family heirloom, and Archonic artifact, known as the Sword of Death. This brought her to the attention of Church and state, and she was, along with the Sword, promptly bundled away to an undisclosed location.