Lisette of Virdian
Lisette Henriette Ashford de Aryn (12th of the Sun's Smile, 1571 - 19th of the First Seed, 1612), commonly known as Lisette of Virdain, was the Queen-Consort of the Kingdom of Courland, as the wife of King Tobias of Courland. As a cousin to House de Savoie, Lisette's marriage to King Tobias joined the armies of Courland and Savoy together during Tobias' Rebellion. She is venerated as a Saint by the Lotharic Communion.
Her father, Lystor Ashford de Aryn, was the second son of Thomas de Aryn, who held the Barony of Virdain within Drusco, a duchy under the Holy Orenian Empire during it's days in Vailor. Born after the destruction of Vailor and their arrival in Axios, Lisette was brought into a family of noble refugees, whom made up the Duchy of Savoy. As leal kinsmen and vassals to the House of Ashford de Savoie, the children of House Ashford de Aryn were raised alongside the ducal children and given an education that far outranked their status.
After many years of constant study, Lisette's father sent her to a nunnery to be educated in the ways of the Church. However, rumors spread that Lystor had actually sent his daughter into a sort of exile, for refusing to take part in his plans for her to seduce the current emperor, Philip I. It is known that Lisette often told her cousins, after the fact, of how the nuns beat her until she recited prayers properly, and starved her for days when she spoke out against their harsh teachings. The final straw was when the nuns sent a fellow sister, dressed in noblewomen's silks and claiming to be Lisette, to the capital of Johannesburg in order to preach the Canonist Faith to the children of House Ashford de Savoie. This little scheme was soon found out, and the real Lisette was called back from the nunnery by her father & great-uncle, the now-Baron Bastian de Aryn of Gant.
Adulthood and Marriage
As the only female in her house eligible for marriage, Lisette was sought after by many young lords as a potential bride. The most notable, and fervent in his affections, was the Viscount Augustus of Chambery. It is believed he fell madly in love with her, though she only feigned such love in return as to not hurt his feelings. A betrothal was proposed, though nothing became of it. Soon after this, the Duke of Savoy, Jon Renault, was killed by the Emperor, and Savoy was being threatened by the Imperial Forces. With the flags of Horen bearing down on the Barony of Gant & the city of Aldersport, Lisette was sent out of the area before both capital and barony were blown to pieces as a final spite against Oren. Within this explosion were caught most of her kin, including her father and great-uncle.
Wandering the isle of Tahn alone, Lisette was an orphan with nowhere to go. She climbed atop cart after cart, hoping to catch wind of where one of her few surviving cousins might be, but to no avail. A brief stint in the Kingdom of Haense, however, proved useful in getting her information on her cousins, Hamelin and Katherine de Savoie. Making her way to the Kingdom of the Westerlands, the orphaned lady was reunited with her two kin, making her new home with them as the Orenian Rebellion broke out.
Not accustomed to the chill of the northern tundra, Lisette was happy to learn of Hamelin's intentions of revenge on Oren, which included a political match between herself and the son of Duke Alexander, Tobias. Sent to the castle of Ostwick as an envoy for the fallen Savoy, Lisette quickly became a figure at the rebel's court. This impressed the Duke, along with her charm, wit, and penchant for management, and a formal betrothal with his son was drawn up in early 1593. King Tobias Staunton, now head of House Staunton after his father's death, and Lisette Henriette were married in the summer seasons of 1593, sanctioned by the Church of the True Faith and witnessed by over 100 guests.
Coronation and Children
After several victories, and the destruction of Johannesburg by Emperor Philip, King Tobias and his heavily-pregnant Queen ordered the construction of their new capital, Aleksandria. After the birth of their first two children, Joseph Alexander and Elizabeth Maria, the King began to plan their joint-coronation. The crowning of King & Queen-Consort took place on the 12th of the Sun's Smile, 1594, the Queen's own birthday. Four years onward, with a city thriving around their palace, another pair of children were born into the royal family in 1598: William Augustus & Alfred Henry. This birthing was followed by several years of peace, in which the King and Queen happily held court and paid visit to their citizens. Two final children were born, in 1600 and 1601 respectively: Arthur Richard and Sophia Alexandra.
The War with Haense
Though a bad history with Haense was still in the back of every Courlander's mind, the first crack in their cordial speakings was brought around by the murder of Prince Meric Staunton, envoy to King Tobias, who died at the hands of rogue council member whilst leaving a diplomatic meeting with King Marius Barbanov. This lead several independent groups within Courland to begin raiding the lands of Haense, thus tipping King Marius's hand and a formal declaration of war made. Made up of two major battles, the war between Haense and Courland was brief, yet very taxing upon the soldiers & nobles alike. A courtier in the Curonburg Palace is said to have heard Queen Lisette speak of her distaste for war, and her wish for all members of the human race to 'just get along'. With the war ending in a Courlandic victory, Tobias returned home to his wife and children.
In 1605, Queen Lisette began a program known as 'The Queen's Wardship', a warding opportunity for young girls in Courland to study under a royal child's education. Following this, the Queen-Consort also declared her intention to create a better relationship between the Church of the True Faith and House Staunton, since having delved into it's teachings and planned a formal meeting with it's clergymen. The queen assisted in later alliance agreements between the elves of Haelun'or and the Kingdom of Courland, herself securing a public library for the city of Aleksandria.
Queen Dowager and Death
In 1607, King Tobias was suddenly killed on a hunting trip, taking a boar's tusk to his torso. This left Lisette as the Queen-Dowager of Courland, and her eldest son left to reign as Joseph I.
In 1612, the Queen-Dowager was struck by a heart-attack, assumed to have been induced by the trauma of a previous kidnapping, and died surrounded by loved ones.
|King Joseph I of Courland||3rd of the Suns Smile, 1594||Alive||Marie of Lotharingia||Eldest child of Tobias and Lisette, third King of Courland and seventh Duke of Courland|
|Queen Elizabeth Maria of Haenseti-Ruska||3rd of the Suns Smile, 1594||Deceased in 1619||Stephen I of Haense||Twin to Joseph Alexander, Queen-Consort of Ruska|
|Prince William Augustus of Courland||12th of the Amber Cold, 1596||Alive||Unwed||Second son of Tobias and Lisette|
|Karl I of Curon||14th of Malin's Welcome, 1602||9th of Malin's Welcome, 1651||Ester Theresa of Rostig||Third son of Tobias and Lisette, Duke of Curon|
|Prince Arthur Richard of Courland||12th of the Amber Cold, 1596||Alive||Unwed||Fourth son of Tobias and Lisette, Twin to Sophia|
|Princess Sophia Alexandra of Courland||12th of the Amber Cold, 1596||Alive||Volkhard Markwardt||Second daughter of Tobias and Lisette, Twin to Arthur|
|Prince Alfred Henry of Courland||10th of the Bitter Harvest, 1598||11th of the Bitter Harvest 1598||Unwed||Died shortly after birth|