Caralla (1050-980 b.S.) ascended to the throne of Erpheronia in 1035 b.S., which had started to lose the respect of the nobility during her father’s reign as Caeth had put his own interests in magical lore before the needs of his country and later as a result of his failing health and the resulting neglect of his duties. Caralla patronised the building of several educational institutions in the major towns during her reign, but more importantly brought some stability to northern Erpheronia by establishing the Northern and Eastern Marks, which formed a protective wall along the Northern borders, though she was a calm and careful ruler. Her foreseeing of the dangers coming from the north as well as the positive impact which had the tuition of different social levels of citizens on the welfare of the whole society earned her the title "the Farseeing".
However, bad tongues claimed, that Caralla was dubbed the “Farseeing” not due to
her political skill, but because she had been somewhat taller than most
Erpheronian women. She stood over one ped and eight handspans, had a lean,
athletic figure and was much more hale than her sickly father, Caeth. Caralla is
depicted in most paintings as having long brown hair, usually tied back into
braids, that reached the middle of her back. Her facial features were sharp,
with high cheekbones, a thin nose and piercing brown eyes. She often wore
dresses made of silk dyed in Caltharia that had been subtly embroidered with the
coat-of-arms of whatever city or town she was visiting. Her preference though
was for the dresses with a golden hue (for rare occasions they were even richly
stitched with strands of pure gold) and red trimming to represent the
phoenix. But while visiting Thevelin she
made a point of wearing a two-colour or two-patterned style, with blue running
down the front and white along the sides. With modesty typical of
Erpheronian nobility, the
collars of her dresses were always square cut and very high and not nearly as
low as in the lower classes. Caralla popularised dresses that were fashioned
with a piece of embroidery that curved around the hips and circled low around
the front of the dress.
Personality. One of Caralla‘s advisers, Counsellor Errin Sharpmind of Holm, once wrote to a friend about his queen: "Queen Caralla is rightly called the farseeing, for she has initiated a lot of projects - in the military and public sector - which turned out to the best of her country after many years. But few know today, that this was not coming from a cold intellectual mind, but that the keen sense of compassion for her people, mainly the endangered ones, the weak ones, those of whom had been taken advantage was the driving force behind her actions."
This compassion was a direct result of the poor treatment her father received from her mother, Wanya, who openly criticised Caeth for his love of books, learning, and the arcane, which she saw as weakness. As Caralla entered her teen years, Wanya sought the company of men due to Caeth’s failing health, and it was left to the young princess to look after her father. This opened her eyes to the great imperfections of life.
The name the "Farseeing" she earned for her taking note of the deterioration of the welfare and military defense in northern Erpheronia during her father’s reign and more so for her acting to remedy these bad circumstances. But she used this ability to foresee future problems also when starting a longterm project - the education of her people by initiating the building of schools, orphanages and other educational institutions. Many of her adversaries remarked, that not she, but her advisors were farseeing. However, as it was she who chose her advisers and she took the counsels she saw as the most benefitting ones, it was her merit nevertheless.
This would not have been possible, if Caralla had not had a strong will and determination to get things done, once she was convinced, that it was the right thing to do. Especially in her young years, this was a strong trait and she often was seen as stubborn and difficult to deal with. However, as she also knew how to give her counsellors the impression, that she listened to their advices and had a generally friendly and polite way to treat people, her positiveness was accepted early on.
What amended her talent of farseeing was her calm temperament. She knew the tempestuousness of her mother made life difficult for her father in court at Voldar. Caralla was much more reserved and refrained from outbursts that created tension among the nobility. In this way, she learned not to emulate her mother, who often spoke out-of-turn and angered nobility.
She had a great love of books and reading - something she gained from her father, who was a low-level magician. Though she had no magical aptitude, Caralla saw learning as an important means to improve the quality of her people’s lives. Early during her reign, she sponsored the building of the library in Voldar, and later during her reign she founded several small schools throughout the southern parts of her country, in the Northern Marks once they were established.
Biography. Formative Years (1050-1037 b.S). Caralla spent much of her youth in Voldar learning as much about history, geography, nature and the arts from her father Caeth, who in addition to being a scholar, also studied the arcane.
Compassion for the Father (1037-1035 b.S.). The young princess’s happy childhood came to an end when her father fell ill to a wasting sickness and a disease that destroyed his lungs and ability to breath and could no longer care for himself. Caralla witnessed the destructive effects of the degeneration of her father’s health and her parent’s marriage, and cared for her father until his death. Her younger siblings, her brother Aeric, and her two sisters Jenala and Breýssa looked to Caralla for guidance and care, as their mother was often absent from the court, preferring to spend time in Accam, her birthplace.
First Speech before the Council of Voldar (3rd Singing Bird 1037 b.S.). Just thirteen, but realising that her father was seriously ill and could not attend the Counsel of Voldar anymore, she spoke to the Counsel the first time during the spring meeting in 1037 b.S. on the day of her birthday, the 3rd of the month of the Singing Bird. Tall for her age, and with a steady voice she tried to reassure the attending members, that there was no need to assign a steward, but asked at the same time for the nomination of three Counsellors to give her advice. This impressed the attending men in a way, that no one tried to threaten the given balance of power. During the following two years, Caralla interacted with the Ruling Council of Voldar regularly and tries to learn as much as possible about Erpheronian political relations.
Caralla ascends to the Throne (1035 b.S.). Caeth died in 1035 b.S. Just prior to his death, he called a private meeting with the Ruling Council of Voldar to allay his desire that his eldest daughter take the throne. Caralla became Queen, though her mother disputed her ascension, saying that the princess was too young. However, all members of the Ruling Council of Voldar voted in favour of Caralla. Immediately after her coronation, Caralla sent her mother to permanently reside in Accam.
Caralla’s Marriage and Heir (1035-1033 b.S.). Soon after her ascension, Caralla fell in love with one of the Ruling Council’s sons, a man named Erthis from the city of Ishmarin. Their first son and heir, Thaelmar, was born in 1033 b.S. This was a pleasant time for the new queen, as the support she received from the Ruling Council allowed her to, as much as possible, divide her time between managing the kingdom and spending time with her family.
Educating a Kingdom and Raising Family (1033-1028 b.S.). Caralla spent the next six years making small, but important improvements in educating the youth of the nobility. In the past, private tutors were available to the wealthiest, however, Caralla patronised small schools in the major centres (Quentron, Ishmarin, Accam, Jernais, Westhron, Cemphira and Astran). This culminated with the building of a new library in Voldar in 1028 b.S. Calmar and Kormar were born during this time.
Beginning Troubles in the North (1028 - 1022 b.S.). Though sporadic, the attack by orcs in the north began to plague Narvoss as well as Ishmarin, and though Caralla was aware of these attacks and sent troops to garrison the forces in these locations, it was not enough to remove the orcs’ presence.
Orc Attack on Ishmarin, Raid Statistics (1022 - 1016 b.S. ). Ishmarin, the town from which her husband stemmed, was attacked during a stay of Carralla and her family with their relatives. The assault was put down, but only barely and Caralla had realised, that defense was badly organised and there were merely not enough soldiers to defend the area. Back in Voldar she asked the counsel for more money to recruit and pay forces to defend the northern regions, but the wealthy and unmolested duchies in the South of her country were not interested in supporting her, the northern Landlords were incapable or unwilling to help each other. So for now Caralla could not do more than send some more troops to the endangered places. However, she ordered that any accounts of orc raids should be brought before her eyes and she sent even special observers who brought back reports about numbers of orc raiding parties, how often they happened and when.
Orcs raid Plains of Thevelin (1016 b.S.). In this year and until then unknown huge orc parties raided the plains south of Thevelin and Ishmarin, nearly reaching the Warnaka Mountains. The harvest was destroyed and despite help from the South of the country many people starved.
Speech before the Counsel (1015 b.S.). Caralla held her famous speech before the Counsel of Voldar, in the 20th year of her reign, exactly twenty two years after she had spoken for the first time before the Counsel. Very determined and convincing she pointed out, that this huge orc attack might just be the beginning of an greater invasion, for her collected reports showed clearly a steady increase in numbers and frequency of the raids. Most members of the Council were impressed, so that they agreed to a tax increase. As what the Counsel decided was law for all the duchies, the Southern ones, Cemphiria, Holm and Acht were forced to pay their part; Jernais, meanwhile related to the royal family, was inclined anyway to support the queen. However, what made it popular with all was the offer of free land in the Northern Marks. The region up there beyond Ishmarin, Thevelin and Astran had been abandoned in the last years and nobody claimed this land anymore. So she assigned a row of lands to Lords in the far North and Northeast, to second and third sons who would never have the chance to own their own land.
Fortifying the North (1015 - 1010 b.S.). With this gift of land, each Lord was responsible for the construction of a castle or fortress, as well as at least one outpost capable of garrisoning fifty men. The line of castles and fortresses between Ishmarin and Thevelin, the Northern Marks, effectively sealed off the northern entrance of the fertile and resource-rich Vale of Kalir, a plain sheltered by mountain ranges and the Ishmarin Lake. The same effect had the line of fortifications between Thevelin, Astran and beyond which protected the Astran cornfields, north of the Silvermarshes
In addition, the small fortifications of the towns of Ishmarin, Thevelin and Astran were extended and well manned and able to defend any of the smaller marks, if that was needed. Caralla send Thelmar, her firstborn son to aid the ruling Lord of Thevelin to organise and build up the troops. This way she showed her strong interest in the north and provided the King-to-Be with an opportunity not only to meet important people, but to socialise with lower ranks as well, which helped to avoid greater troubles later, when he became quite unpopular due to the raise of levies he put on the peasantry.
Development of the North (1010-987 b.S.). With Caralla’s guiding hand, new settlements were founded in the region as soon as the fortifications showed effect. Thevelin became the strongest of the three well-fortified towns (Ishmarin, Thevelin, Astran). It started transporting goods (mainly grain from the Vale of Kalir and iron from the nearby hills) down the river to the sea. Agriculture expanded into the far north, and with the availability of metals, armouries were built in Astran, Thevelin, Ishmarin and Quentron. For the most part, the north exported raw materials and food to Voldar and the southern Erpheronian towns. The fortresses along the Northern Mark became important training grounds for soldiers, and produced some of the toughest and most battle-hardened forces in southern Sarvonia.
Caralla’s Troubles at Home (997-985 b.S.). Caralla heard domestic concerns about the inability of her eldest son’s wife to have a child, which Caralla quelled very quickly. However, her daughter-in-law decided, with Queen Caralla’s blessings, to remove herself from the tense atmosphere of Voldar to the more calming mood in Ishmarin, where Thaelmar was now posted. Other than minor squabbling of the courtiers, however, the kingdom settled into a period of relative security until the death of Caralla’s husband Erthis, in 985 b.S.
The Final Years of Caralla’s Reign (985-980 b.S.). Caralla spent the last five years of her reign in relative peace, and though she missed her husband, her eldest son’s wife rejoined her. During this time, the wives of Caralla’s other sons both had children, and the queen spent most of her time with them. She charged the Ruling Council of Voldar with ensuring that northern Erpheronia continued to develop, but fell ill and passed away in 980 b.S. Her eldest son, Thaelmar, ascended to the throne.
Importance. Caralla, like her father, Caeth, loved to read and was convinced about the importance of education in general, she patronised the building of a new library in Voldar in 1028 b.S., as well as other smaller schools in major towns in Erpheronia. Arguably, her greatest contribution came in 1015 b.S. when Carralla assigned a row of lands in the far north to newly designated lords, (mostly second and third sons of nobles, men capable and willing to defend their new lands) to form the Northern and Northeastern Marks. Each lord that received a piece of land was responsible for the construction of a castle or fortress and for defending it at any costs. The new Marks brought significant stability to the north by protecting the towns and cities in the north against the orc invasions, and allowed them to develop into important centres from which food and metals could be exported to the south. Of great importance among these centres was Thevelin (later named Nyermersys), which overlooked the Teiphra, as well as the fertile plains to the north. Thevelin became not just an important facet of the defense of northern Erpheronia, but also an economic and cultural centre.