"If beauty has a human face and kindness a name then princess Lady Shiana comes to my mind." Many in the Santharian Kingdom share this view of one of the numerous admirers of the older sister of our current king, the Santhran Tiandor of House Salazath. Her appearance paired with her noble kindness and wisdom beyond her age makes her to one of the most loved members of the royal family, apart maybe from the Santhran Tiandor's Queen Alaveras. Princess Shiana's abdication of the throne which she was destined to take over as the first child of Santhran Grothian and his second wife Queen Lady Jaleth, her devotion to the God of Healing Nehtor and her call by the goddess of destiny Seyella brought many burdens to her young life which she mastered in a way unprecedented. As a counsellor to the Santhran and as his link to the clerical powers of Santharia, especially as an exceptional priestess who serves two gods (Seyella and Nehtor), she is one of the most influential persons and of invaluable worth for the well-being of the entire kingdom of Santharia. Born in the year 1617 a.S., she has celebrated her fiftieth birthday recently.
Image description. One of the most famous portraits of the famous Santharian princess Lady Shiana. Picture by Sir Kayrûun Khim, royal court painter.
It is a nearly impossible task to describe such an ageless beauty, such delicately shaped
features, such a noble demeanour. Lady Shiana's radiant blue eyes have the
colour of a summer sky mirrored in the waters
of a calm lake when she is happy, but turn to the dark hue of clouds of thunder
when she is upset. She has a skin milch-white of colour, her cheeks though
showing a slight hue of the pink of the
alinfa lily, especially when she is happy. An evenly formed, oval face with
still softly rounded cheeks is framed by rich and shiny
eophran brown hair which is
loosely braided behind her noble head. Little strands are often escaping and
soften the otherwise perfectly looking hairdress. A delicate nose sits over
finely formed, mercoral lips which are always ready for a smile, even when she
is sad. Only a few wrinkles around the eyes and the mouth give a hint at her
true age - and the wisdom which speaks out of her eyes. She carries her slender frame with grace and she walks upright, the more
so as she is past the years where youth nearly enables one to hover nearly
effortlessly above the ground.
However, it is not her beauty which captivates her admirers and lets them adore her, it is her noble soul, her friendly nature, her kindness which shimmers through. The author is convinced, that most would adore her and praise her beauty even if she would have a plain appearance, for what one can clearly see in her face is her love of the people and life in general. That makes her truly beautiful.
Personality. Shiana is said to be not only one of the most beautiful persons in the Kingdom of Santharia, but one of the most kindest as well. That does not mean, that she does not have or show a temper. Injustice, ignorance concerning the need of the ill and poor and greed especially can enrage her and then she can find precise words which nail down the problem and will silent any opponent. But her voice is never sharp and she would never attempt to purposely hurt somebody. She is sometimes a very determined person, but all her actions are encased with her friendliness and kindness and therefore people love to follow her advice. She is vulnerable as well - the image which goes with this description shows it clearly . It was painted after her great loss when she was twenty-two, shortly after she had her first visions of the disaster which changed her future life.
Her sensitivity concerning the ill and wounded brought her often to the brink of desperation, only her strong belief in Nehtor and her positive nature allowed her to live on and master life with all its responsibilities. But with the time she learned to guard herself, her further education through the priests of Seyella gave her a great inner strength which allowed her to master her difficult life.
Biography. Childhood (1617-1630). In a stormy night in the winter of 1617 a.S., the one when Seystar gives the reign over to Nehstar, Princess Lady Shiana was born in New-Santhala as first child of Santhran Grothian and his second wife Queen Lady Jaleth. Her life was happy and free of sorrow. She was educated as the princess who would succeed her father if the Hands approved.
Among the usual subjects like the elven language Styrásh, literature and art of the Santharian Kingdom, dance and conversation, politics and economics, she was taught about foreign lands and their cultures. She was especially fond of the history of the Nybelmarian Krean, which might have been the merit of her beloved mentor, the young Déóron Asaen from Nybelmar, a distant uncle from the known Compendiumist Coren "FrozenZephyr" Asaen. Another of her favourite teachers is the sage Artimidor Federkiel who managed to interest her in the celestial art of observing the stars and the moon. Her favourite occupation are however her musical lessons. She excelled both on the flute and the resonance organ, but favoured soon the lyra for there she could use her musical voice as well. Already now her kind and patient nature enchanted the hearts of the whole royal household.
Shiana was very attached not only to her pet animals, but to every animal she encountered in her castle gardens. Soon she started to bring home little hurt beasts and tried to heal them with her restricted means until her teachers demanded that she spent more time with her studies. She obeyed as the little girl who was already well aware of her future burden. Sorrow entered her young life at the age of nine for the first time when her beloved Brendolian cat was severely injured by a Zeiphyrian hunting hound and died despite her caring attempts to save its life. She accused herself, that she had not put enough trust in Nehtor. For some time she visited the small worshipping place in the castle daily.
Coming of Age (1630). The princess came of age and to the annoyance of her parents and her advisers she showed signs of being a gifted child of Nehtor. Dreams of Nehtor entered her sleep, dreams where she seemed to get advice what she is able to do: Headaches went away when she layed her hands on the forehead of her mother, the pain of a hurt knee retreated when she was holding her younger brother, prince Tiandor, on her lap and when she played her lute all aches a listener might have had were gone after a while. At first her parents forbade her to follow her passion, but after the formerly so happy child got sadder every day she was allowed to enter the service of Nehtor to a certain extent. A priest was called to introduce her to the ways of Nehtor, but she still had to fulfil her duties as the princess who would once inherit the throne. And that meant mainly studying a broad canon of subjects.
Travels around Southern Santharia (1635-1636). Princess Lady Shiana finished her studies with excellence. She was now an apprentice of Nehtor (half way through her studies to become a priestess) and tried to fulfill her duties as a follower whenever her times allowed it. Further studies in this area took place, but her royal duties which now set in take much of her time.
Like every royal member since the time of her ancestor Grothunc the Wise had ascended the throne, Shiana had now to travel around Santharia to get to know the land she might reign later, once her father had resigned. Her voyages led her as far south as Strata, even a trip to Shan'Thai was included. Her task was mainly to represent the Royal House, to get to know important people, to present herself as the future Santhranna.
Engagement (1636). Aldin Almaradar Asaen of Araasaen, descendant of Emperor Dearan Asaen of the Great Empire of Krath in Nybelmar entered the life of the princess. Aldi and Shiana met during her visit in the port town of Varcopas where he was a representative of his foreign country, ready to start his duties which would lead him to the court of New-Santhala.
Aldin accompanied Shiana on her way back. Soon both fell in love with each other and a bright future seemed to lie ahead. He was a handsome young man of an old and noble family who had an education which rivalled Shiana's own and so all the attributes a future husband of a reigning Santhranna had to display.
When they were back in the capital from her journey south it didn't take long and Aydin Asean became the proposed husband of the young princess.
However, many parties in Santharia disliked the fact, that the future Santhranna had not chosen one out of their ranks. They argued that unknown foreign blood would flow through their children's veins, children who would grow up and eventually reign the country, that he might have troubles integrating himself in the Santharian society and doubt that he will step back into the second row once his wife becomes the next Santhranna. The true reason behind this opposition however was the fear of losing the desired influence which came with a marriage into the royal family. Former rivalling parties joined in their effort to impede the marriage.
Shiana, the otherwise chary, complaisant and disarming young woman suddenly showed that she knew how to fight for her love and finally all voices which spoke out against the young man were silenced. Three months after she had returned from her travels to the south the engagement is celebrated on yearturn in 1636.
Voyage in the North (1637-1639). With the beginning of the new year Princess Shiana started her representative voyage through the North of Santharia. However, due to the events which start in the following spring, the journey was not as successful as the one in the South.
The Disaster (1637). In the early spring in the year 1637 Princess Shiana started the second part of her travels, this time the North is her destination. Though she looked forward to her journey she was unhappy as well, for now she had to part from her love. He had to voyage back to his Nybelmarian homelands to administer his estate, to say farewell to his beloved and to prepare himself for his coming tasks as husband of the future Santhranna.
But all high flying plans for a future together collapsed when Aydin Asean died on his way home in Chylikis. Waiting to embark for the vessel which would bring him to Varcopas he was offered a visit to the great docks where the Varcopasian ships were built. One of the big cranes which were used to construct the oversea vessels destined for Nybelmar crashed and hitsthe group he was in. Aydin Asean was immediately killed along with several of his attendants. Officially it was treated as disastrous accident, but rumours spread quickly, that he was murdered to prevent the wedding.
That her proposed husband died brought deep sorrow to the young woman. But what was worse, Shiana had seen what would happened in a sudden vision and shared the feelings of her dying fiancé. So she knew, that this "accident" was designed by powers who disliked her engagement with Aydin Asean.
From this day on, the visions beleaguered her more frequently and clear dreams of events that took place at the same time or in the near future entered her life. More often she dreamed that Seyella called her, but at first she denied it and did not want to believe that another goddess was asking for her service for she was dedicated to Nehtor, so how could that be?
Shiana's duties suffered through her dreams and visions which she tried to hide initially, but finally priests of Seyella were asked and they confirmed, that she had received a second call - the first person after the Seer Damari Amisys who had lived more than 150 years ago.
The Abdication (1639). The council of the Four Hands insisted, that she Shiana had to resign from the throne after she had a vision in Nyermersys revealing a scandalous relationship of an important nobleman in full public. Her younger brother Prince Tiandor was now confirmed as candidate for the position of the Santhran should his father die.
Apprenticeship as Priestess of Seyella (1639-1649). Shiana retreated for the next eight years into the secluded part of the temple of Seyella in Varcopas to become a priestess of the Goddess of Destiny, but at the same she was trained to be a full priest of Nehtor, the God of Healing as well. Not much is known about this time, not if she had more of her "revealing" visions or if she learned to master, to direct them and get some control over her life again. However, rumours abound that a gifted priestess of Nehtor, who had always been veiled - against the normal practise of others of her kind - brought much relief to the poorer people and lost souls of the City of Thousand Blooms.
Death of Santhran Grothian (1642). Princess Shiana was not openly seen at the burial of Santhran Grothian of her father. However, informed people believed that she was sent to console her family, that she was allowed to bid her father farewell before he died. During the next seven years the king's consort Jaleth reigns the Santharian Kingdom.
Shiana's Return into Publicity and Marriage of Tiandor and Alaveras (1647). The first time Priestess Shiana was seen again in public is on the occasion of the marriage of her brother Tiandor to Alaveras sa Hethune of House Helerothi. The simple robes she was wearing had the light grey colour of a priestess of Seyella, but were adorned with the blue and purple Nehtor is known for. She was now even more beautiful than she appeared in her youth, but her former softness which many back then had thought to be a weakness was now replaced by an inner strength which everybody could feel whenever she was present.
Travels around Santharia (1647-1649). The following two years Shiana travelled around Santharia on behalf of the temples of Seyella getting to know many important persons within the Santharian clerical hierarchy.
Coronation of Santhran Tiandor (1649). Priestess Shiana attended the coronation and was asked to assist the ceremony as representative of the priests of Seyella.
More Travels (1649-1662). Shiana travelled by order of the temples of Seyella and Nehtor. Despite her activities she found always time to fulfill her tasks as priest as well. Her visions seemed to be under control.
Plans for her Assassination uncovered (1655). Plans for an assassination of Shiana were uncovered, but no guilty party was found. The cause for this assault on her life might have been the fear of some subversive parties to be disclosed through her visions.
Voice to the King (1662). Priestess Shiana was elected Sorain ("Voice to the Santhran") of the Metharín, the high elemental clerics, in the Kingdom of Santharia. Now she was officially what she already had been during the king's reign: advisor in clerical matters to her brother, the Santhran. It did not lighten Shiana's burden to do both justice, her brother and the priests who had trust in her ability and willingness to represent their wishes.
Importance. Lady Shiana's importance as a dutiful princess at first, as responsible representative for the Temples of Seyella later on and now as the Voice speaking for the entire cerical hierarchy of Santharia is obvious.
The long continuing peace during the reign of the current Santhran may well be credited to her visions, at least partly. Often her family or persons related to her are subject of these lucid dreams, or events and actions which would affect those close to her. With her brother being the current sovereign, this means quite a lot. Not much about the content of these dreams is revealed, but subversive forces often fear, that their plans could be uncovered and their names being made public before any goal they might have is achieved, so the disposition to such activities is low.
However, what is more crucial than all her duties which she accomplishes so well or any effect her visions might have on the stability of the current government, is how she is perceived throughout Santharia. She is seen as a person of integrity beyond any doubt, of honour and justice, but as well as the most loving and caring member of the royal family, as the one who is interested in the well-being of her people, be it the nobles or the poor folks. There are not many who do not confide in her. This has a positive effect on the whole society and the florishing of the Kingdom of Santharia is to a high degree her merit. As a simple mind has put it: "Even if the Santhran and all his nobles bugger up the kingdom, nothing can go wrong as long as our Lady Shiana is around!"
 Sir Kayrûun Khim, one of the great godsend that the young genius from Nybelmar, Kayrûun Khim, freshly appointed as painter for the royal court, was ordered to portray Lady Shiana. So this magnificent picture has come down to us. Rumours say, that he had fallen in love with her, but not able to confess his feelings to somebody in rank so high above him, he laid all his love in his painting of her. [Back]