Paul II of Adria

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Paul Franz Varoche
PaulIVaroche.jpg
"The Lord of the Golden City", by Lucrezia Bracchus (c.1708).
Duke of Adria
Reign: 1702-1708
Predecessor: Ratibor of Adria
Successor: King Marius II of Haense
Count of Varoche
Reign: 1708-1721
Predecessor: Title created
Successor: Paul II Varoche
Born: 2nd of the Sun's Smile, 1687
Died: 11th of Snow's Maiden, 1721
(aged: 34)
Spouse: Emigliana Sofia of Napoliza
House: Varoche
Father: Augustus Horen
Mother: Alexandria Horen
Issue: Otto Varoche

Paul Franz Varoche (2nd of the Sun's Smile, 1687 to 11th of Snow's Maiden, 1721) was born as a result of an incestuous affair between Augustus I, Emperor of Man and his sister, Princess Alexandria. Believed by all to actually be the eldest son of Alexandria’s husband, Duke Ratibor Carrion of Adria, Paul ascended to his stepfather’s ducal throne upon the duke’s disappearance. When it was revealed that he had no such claim to inherit the title, he continued to rule under the last name of ‘Varoche,’ by the grace of the people of Adria, until his willing abdication to Marius, the King of Haense preceding the War of the Two Emperors. He would reign as Count of Varoche until his life was put to an abrupt end by his wife, Emigliana di Montelliano.

Biography

Early Years

Paul Franz was born to Augustus Horen and his sister Alexandria, a scandal which could have irreparably damaged the reputation of the to-be emperor. To squander any possible suspicion, Alexandria assumed the boy to be the blood of her husband, Ratibor, the duke of Adria. Paul was then omitted to the family of Carrions without dismay, successfully being raised heir to Ratibor’s style as the eldest of 3 sons.

In his youth, Paul spent a majority of his time among the sons and daughters of Augustus, the imperial princes Romulus and Antonius, believed then to be his “cousins.” They were all three entertained educationally by Timeo de la Baltas, an esteemed bard of the empire, who helped them develop a sense of musicality and pomp.

Ascent to Duke ; The Adrian-Curonian War

Paul’s early reign over Adria began with Ratibor’s disappearance succeeding his sudden announcement of war against the Duchy of Curon, as an effect of the Duke of Curon's alleged accusations towards the Carrion family. Paul was a mere 15 years old upon inheriting, allowing a regency to be called for the duration of the war. He had inherited a country in the midst of a bloody vassal war, with no allies available to help defend against the amassed armies of Curonia. The regency’s first call to action was by enacting a peace accord that would lay the terms primarily against Curon, which demanded 50,000 minas in reparations, as well as a marriage between Duke Wilhelm’s youngest daughter, Anabel, and Paul himself. These demands were ignored by the curonites, who saw it as a blatant insult, worsening the relationship between Adria and Curonia. Emperor Augustus recognized the possibility of his vassals' destruction, and forged a pact that would have both nations reconcile on the battlefield with no allies to assist either. Come the day of battle, the youthful Paul led his brethren to the field with the protection of the city guard of Belvitz. When Curon had fatefully rose as the victor, Paul and his citizens succumbed to the terms set for their defeat, which would be of marriage between the orphaned sister of Paul, Mariya, and a chosen son of Duke Wilhelm. Succeeding their infamous victory, the curonites were willed by the treacherous Calculus de Sola into the sudden kidnapping of the esteemed Timeo, as a "prize" for their wrath in battle. Paul along with a parade of adrians led a rescue raid to the capital city of Curon, ending the strife between the two nations, yet not yet stitching the wound that had been brutaly torn asunder.

The Emperor’s Ultimatum

The remaining years of of Paul’s reign was marked with stress. Relations between Curon and Adria continued to relent under grievous tension throughout. A new threat suddenly arose when Boris, Paul’s brother, ejected his grandmother, the empress-mother of Man, from the city over a domestic dispute. Emperor Augustus immediately grew in anger, sending the Dragon Knights led by Antonius, then the crown prince, to the city of ves with the threat of its destruction. Paul, acknowledging Adria’s lack of military prowess as shown by their defeat in battle, rose to hire several mercenary companies as protectors of the city, though the empire’s face only turned to Adria’s nonaggression towards the infamous bandit group known as the Reivers, sworn enemies against the imperial crown.

In the span of mere weeks, Emperor Augustus suddenly abdicated to his lawful son Antonius in an edict of the crown, with it declaring Paul and his sister Valera, the bride of the Haeseni crown prince, bastard of he and his own sister Alexandria. Paul, now realized as a Jrent-born child of incest, would take the name Varoche and reaffirm his rulership over Adria with the Carrion family beside him. It was then that the accursed Chekhov Carrion would have Paul’s hired mercenaries, led by the Reivers, attempt to capture the Emperor on the Road, furthering the tension of Vassal and Liege. The emperor, after having heard letter of this, would deliver an ultimatum to Paul: he would abdicate his crown, and have the lord-mayor of Ves, Demetrio di Montelliano, executed or he would watch his city burn to the ground. In an emergency council meeting, Paul abdicated to King Marius II of Haense, taking on the mantle of the Palace of Ves as his lands, under the new name of the County of Varoche.

Issue

Name Birth Death Marriage Notes
Nikoletta Sofia Varoche 1708 N/A William Alstion, Prince of Aanen First born daughter of Paul and Emigliana. Baronetess of Napoliza.
Paul II, Count of Varoche 1709 1721 N/A First born son of Paul and Emigliana. Becomes Count of Varoche upon Paul's death, but dies just a few months later.
Julietta Maria Varoche 1710 N/A Janos, Margrave of Staf Second born daughter of Paul and Emigliana. Baronetess of Napoliza.
Paul John Victor, Count of Varoche 1712 N/A N/A Second born son of Paul and Emigliana. Becomes Count of Varoche upon Paul II's death.