Anabel of Curonia
Anabel Lisette of the House of Devereux (9th of Tobias' Bounty, 1691 - present), briefly titled Anabel I, was a Curonian-born princess, later becoming an Imperial princess and Duchess of Cascadia upon marrying Prince Romulus, Duke of Cascadia. She would bear many titles throughout her lifetime, going on to become Empress-Mother of the Empire of Renatus, and later of Oren as mother to Godfrey II, Holy Orenian Emperor and John VII, Holy Orenian Emperor. Anabel was shortly declared as the lawful Queen of Curonia, though only serving in such a position for two years.
Anabel Devereux was born within the Curonian capital of Cyrilsburg, the first daughter to the then Count Wilhelm I of Curonia, and his consort, Evelyn of Istria. Being the third born child of the pair, and first daughter, her birth was widely celebrated by the people of Curonia. Shortly after her birth the County was elevated to ducal status.
She led a peaceful early childhood, the youth proving to be incredibly astute from a young age. Her father, especially valuing his first daughter’s education, provided her with the best tutors in which the kingdom could offer. She was known to spend much of her time within the palace libraries, devoting her energy in furthering her education. It is said that she particularly took interest in Courlandic history, being her heritage, and constantly quizzed her teacher Stephanos of Mystra on matters of the fallen Kingdom. She never got along well with her six siblings, bearing the brunt of much of their taunts- specifically those of her older brother Jarrack I of Curonia. This strained relationship would carry though even into her adult years.
Young Anabel was beloved by her father especially, and it is said that during one of the royal court sessions the Duke brought his daughter up upon the dias, declaring to his subjects that she was the most beautiful girl in the entirety of the land. Wilhelm commonly had the young girl announce and open official ceremonies, instilling in her values of confidence and grace that would carry into her later years. It was around the age of six in which she was assigned a personal guard, Ser Graham Milner, who would eventually go on to become a mentor figure for the young noblewoman.
In addition to being well known by the people of Curon, Anabel frequently made visits to both the Imperial capital of Carolustadt, as well as the Haenseni capital of Markev. She made acquaintance with many of the local noble children, building friendships that would influence her for much of her life, particularly growing close with Analise Ludovar and the young Vivienne d’Amaury. Her first meeting with the Imperial royalty was during a ceremonial jousting tournament in which she was introduced to the Emperor Augustus I, and his consort, Helen. Having a daughter of their own of a similar age, Empress Helen immediately set about arranging for Octavia and Anabel to spend time together. The two would develop a close bond with one another, confiding in the details of their similar lives.
The Gentlemen’s War, known at the time as the Adrian-Curonian war, would prove to be the first instance in which Anabel’s future marriage would be brought into question. Following the apparent insults thrown between the Adrian Duke Rabitor and her father Wilhelm, Curon were delivered a list of demands alongside a threat of warfare if they were not fulfilled. Among these demands was the betrothal of Anabel to the Duke’s firstborn son and heir, Paul Carrion. These demands were outright refused by the Curonian council, with much uproar from the citizens as to the claiming of the eight year old Anabel. After a speech in which Wilhelm publicly condemned the Adrians, a state of warfare was declared. The Emperor Augustus called the two parties into an imperial court session, where it was then decided that a scheduled battle would take place and that no aggression was to be shown outside of said battle. Much to Anabel’s relief, Curon achieved a stunning victory within the field battle, thus ending the petty war and all talks of her marriage to the Carrion lordling.
Adolescence and Teenage Years
Following the substantial victory over the Adrians, it was declared by Emperor Augustus that the Duchy of Curon would ascend to the Kingdom of Curonia, a reward for their continued devout fealty to the Imperial Crown. A coronation was held in the winter months of 1703 within the Cyrilsburg Cathedral, masses of attendees travelling from all states of the Empire to watch the new Kingdom rise. As a first born daughter of the King, Anabel was bestowed the honorary title of Princess Royal, to which she accepted with a bout of enthusiasm. After training all her life in etiquette and scholarly avenues, she was beyond proud to now hold a royal title of her own. Anabel continued to thrive in her education and upbringing though her later childhood years, becoming a particularly prized member of the Devereux household. It is said that following a miscommunicated assault on the princess from an Imperial soldier, King Wilhelm declared that she was no longer to grace the capital with her presence, dubbing her the ‘Jewel of the Devereux’.
Anabel attended many events held across the various nations of the Empire of Man, often appearing alongside her trio of close counterparts.It was during a Haenseni ball in which she first made acquaintance with the Imperial Prince Romulus Horen, the second born son of Emperor Augustus I. The pair immediately grew fond of each other, with Anabel beginning to make more frequent trips to Carolustadt in order to spend time with the prince. They would continue to grow closer as the years progressed, often seen wandering the streets of both capitals together. Those around the two began to speculate the possibility of courtship, though such was always denied in a flush of embarrassment from the princess.
However, their close relationship had caught the eye of Romulus’ mother following a heartfelt conversation between the Devereux princess and the Empress. Anabel regarded Helen with much admiration, as the woman had continued to portray strength and intelligence to which she’d idolised. Helen arranged a meeting witht Anabel’s mother, Queen Evelyn, in which she brought forward the idea of a formal betrothal of their two children. It was then decided at that point for Anabel to take residency within the new capital of Helena, allowing her to learn the Imperial way of life as well as further her courtship with Romulus.
After a tearful farewell from her parents and Kingdom, the twelve year old princess set out to begin her life within the capital. It took her a number of months to adjust to the new culture and climate, however soon grew to adore living in Helena. She found the people and opportunities to be exactly as she’d dreamed of, and no longer worried about the taunting from her siblings. Anabel later trained as a ward under Empress Helen, as well as building an impactful relationship with the Imperial Princess Amelia Philippa to whom she trusted like family.
Romulus and Anabel were wed three years later on the 4th of Tobias’ bounty, 1706. They recited their vows within the Cathedral of Helena, and the ceremony was officiated by the High Pontiff of the time, Daniel I. Following the formal proceedings, a grand reception was hosted within the palace gardens, and Anabel was delighted to see both her mother and father in attendance. Her elder brother, however, was notably absent- perhaps a telling of the difficult relationship the pair still held. She wore a dress of a grand nature, modelled after her Mother’s own, with brilliantly intricate gold detailing across the corset and skirt. The wedding was received positively by the citizens of the empire, with many having watched the two grow up alongside each other for a number of years. Anabel was the first of her house to hold an Imperial title, and took such a position with pride.
The marriage was one of a very happy nature, with the two being incredibly devout in their vows. Shortly after the wedding, Romulus’ father Augustus I abdicated the throne, with his eldest son Antonius rising to the title of Emperor. In his long, and notably controversial letter of abdication, Augustus left Romulus the titular Duchy of Cascadia, making Anabel the Duchess-Consort as his wife. The two brothers had never been close, and his coronation marked the beginning of a brutal reign. Romulus decided that he would step back from the intricacies of Imperial politics, and instead take upon land to build his duchy, Cascadia. He and Anabel began to draft plans, enlisting architects from around the Empire to design a grand city.
However their plans were cut short upon the alleged assassination of Romulus, three years into their marriage. This led the distraught seventeen year old Anabel to flee from the capital, fearing for her own safety, as well as harbouring mistrust toward much of the empire. The details of his murder were warped, and never quite presented to her fully, though she expected foul play on Antonius’ behalf due to a stirring movement to place Romulus on the throne over his cruel-natured brother. Anabel once again took residency within her father’s court, and was warmly welcomed back by her people, many taking pity on the young widow. She was deeply upset by the death of her husband, and supposedly sobbed for hours within the arms of her guard, Ser Milner. The princess scarcely left her room for the first few months, and began to don much darker colours- contrasting her usual gowns of light blues, greens and purples.
Slowly beginning to recover from Romulus’ alleged death, Anabel started to reappear within the court. She grew fond of a white mare gifted to her by lord Charles Suffolk, to which she named Amberley. As an eligible maiden once again, her previous marriage remaining unconsummated due to the couples young age, many began to vie for the affections of the princess. Ana politely refused all advances, still in a deep state of mourning for her late husband.
It was at this time that Wilhelm abdicated to his first son and heir, Jarrack I of Curonia. Anabel, having never been close with her eldest brother, paid little heed to the political happenings of Curonia from then on. She took upon a life of a more quiet nature, founding the Curonian Royal Academy within Avalain, in hopes to educate the youth of the Kingdom. Her allegiances were tested following the Coup of Avalain, in which her brother Ecbert deposed the newly coronated King Jarrack. She disproved of Jarrack’s rule, however could not deny that it was his birthright to hold the throne, and thus refused to support Ecbert’s cause.
After a number of years of absence under the pretence of death, Romulus reappeared in court. He claimed that after an attempted assassination, his brother had allowed him to live, though banishing the prince to the continent of Aeldin. Anabel regarded such a claim with suspicion, though quickly relapsed into the joy she had felt during their marriage. She moved back to Helena, alongside Romulus, the two soon bearing a child - her first son, Remus. They later sired a set of twins, their final children, Achilius and Laurentina.
War of the Two Emperors
It was at the dawn of the War of the Two Emperors that Anabel's young son, Remus, was crowned as Emperor of the Empire of Renatus. This naturally set a course of action unpredicted by the princess. Curonia, currently under the regency of her elder brother Ecbert, declared allegiance of the rebelling vassals- being that of Haense and Leuven. This decision eventually led to the apparent suicide of her Father, due to his conflicting allegiances as both a previous Curonian King and the current Imperial Arch-Chancellor. Her mother, distraught by Wilhelm’s death, proceeded to throw herself into a pit of flames during his funeral, witnessed by Anabel and her immediate family. This was deeply disturbing to her, and fuelled a strong resent toward the regime of Ecbert.
Torn between her siblings and kingdom, and that of her husband and children- Anabel chose to stand beside her son and newly-crowned emperor Godfrey. Devoted to the Renatian cause, she publicly condemned the Curonian people for their choices to side against them, even going as far as to manipulate Ecbert’s wife into digging tunnels to allow Renatian raiders into the Avalain city walls. Her efforts during the war granted her the title of a Draughtsman of Renatus.
As Queen of Curonia
On the 15th of Tobias’ Bounty, 1715, the Renatian Imperial crown, specifically that of Emperor Godfrey, declared Anabel as the rightful Queen of Curonia, issuing her the title within an official Imperial document as well as banishing all other members of the Devereux family. This had come due to Curonia's missive condemning the House of the Pertinaxi and the further Renatian Empire. In response, the Curonian Regent Ecbert Devereux, on behalf of the young king Alfred, issued a declaration of disownment toward Anabel- in their eyes stripping her of her name, house, and titles. She responded to this in a flurry of anger, incredibly frustrated with the insulting declaration, having served the Curonian crown faithfully for many years.
The Renatian Imperial crown did not recognise this disownment as legitimate, due to the prior made banishment of all Devereux kin except for Anabel. She continued to be regarded as the Curonian Queen by those of Renatus, even beginning to wear a golden crown, laden with emerald jewels. Though a position she was not born to inherit, Anabel took it upon with grace, seeing herself as above the rest of her household, and thus worthy of the title. In 1717, Curonia declared allegiance to Renatus, claiming issues surrounding failed promises of independence from Oren. In turn, Renatus had offered a pact detailing full independence of the Kingdom. The title was given back to the legitimate King Alfred II, with the council operating a regency after Ecbert Devereux's death. This news was met with slight displeasure from Anabel, however she acknowledged that the crown should rightfully fall to Alfred according to the Curonian laws of succession
As Empress Mother of Oren
After a victory across the Siege of Helena and following battles, the rebelling Orenian alliance began to deteriorate. They soon crumbled, with Ves declaring allegiance to Renatus, and the sights of war being turned solely on Haense. Months of negotiation eventually led to a treaty between Haense and the Empire. Anabel’s son Godfrey soon took to Aeldin, meeting with the Renatian founders, and declaring the dissolvement of Renatus, and his reformation of the Holy Orenian Empire. Following the dissolution of House Horen as decreed by His Imperial Majesty, Godfrey II, in 1721, Anabel was no longer regarded as a Horen, taking on the family name of Cascadia in its place. She took upon the privy position of Minister of Foreign affairs soon after.
As a mother of her three children, she was generally regarded to have taken much care in raising them in the best possible manner, particularly her two youngest. They received a high level of education, similar to her own, and were both taught the language of Flexio by the Archbishops. Determined to have her children reach their highest potential, she was somewhat strict in her parenting of traditional values, often times condemning young Laurentina for her interests in swordplay and combat. She was also fond of the new Curonian King, her nephew Pierce, and made frequent visits to Avalain- even hosting occasional events within the city. She was known to be a stellar educator within the courts, taking upon the responsibility of teaching the youth in areas of etiquette and history.
Anabel would live to see both of her sons ascend as Emperors, following the abdication of her firstborn, Godfrey, to his younger brother Achilius. Achilius' (Then being regally named John VII) reign was short-lived, plagued with a weak empire and administration. Only three months following his coronation, he erupted into a fit of stress induced madness, declaring Oren as an elective democracy. Soon after, he abdicated his titles, fleeing Helena- never to be heard from again.
With her husband Romulus perishing within the subsequent Helenic throne room skirmishes, a distraught Anabel remained by her only daughter's side- the last two remaining members of the house of Cascadia. Together they fled to Curonia once again, and welcomed warmly by their kin.
Titles, styles, honours and arms
- 1703-1706 Her Royal Highness, Anabel Lisette of the House of Devereux, Princess Royal of Cyrilsburg
- 1706-1715 Her Imperial Highness, Anabel Lisette of the House of Horen, Princess of the Empire of Man, Princess Royal of Cyrilsburg, Duchess of Cascadia
- 1715-1717 Her Royal Majesty, Anabel I of the House of Horen-Devereux, the lawful Queen of Curonia, Empress Mother of Renatus, Princess Royal of Cyrilsburg Duchess of Curon, Cascadia, Umbra, Countess of Cyrilsburg & Avalain, Baroness of Arisan, Blackreach, Rivia, & Vasile, Lady of Bear Mountain & Blackden
- 1715-1725 Her Imperial Highness, Anabel Lisette of the House of Cascadia, Empress Mother of the Holy Orenian Empire, Princess Royal of Cyrilsburg, Duchess of Cascadia, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Imperial Crown of Exalted Godfrey and the Holy Orenian Empire
- 1725-Present Her Royal Highness, Anabel Lisette of the House of Cascadia, Princess Royal of Curonia, Duchess-Dowager of Cascadia
|Remus Godfrey Cascadia||11th of Sigismund's End, 1712||Missing||Adeline of Alstion||Firstborn son of Prince Romulus and Anabel. Crowned as Emperor of Renatus at the dawn of the War of the Two Emperors, being then regally titled as Godfrey III. Later declared the Emperor of Oren|
|Achilius Cascadia||13th of Owyn's Flame, 1714||Missing||Unwed||Secondborn son of Prince Romulus and Anabel, twin to Laurentina. Duke of Aenus & Crown Prince-Regent of the Holy Orenian Empire. Became Holy Orenian Emperor upon the abdication of Godfrey.|
|Laurentina Julia Cascadia||13th of Owyn's Flame, 1714||Alive||Unwed||Firstborn daughter of Prince Romulus and Anabel. Twin to Achilius. Princess Imperial and Duchess of Aenus.|