Carmen is the Queen of Maristonia through marriage to King Curillian. She is of much humbler origins than he, for whilst he is descended from a line of kings, she is a commoner. She was the daughter of a sailor of modest means who went on to become the Harbour-Master of Mariston. She dwelt with him in their dockside residence during the exile of Prince Curillian until one night, her life was turned upside down. The exiled prince led a daring raid upon the Maristonian fleet, lying at anchor in Mariston, to prevent its being used by the Usurper, Daulastir. Her father tried to help, but was cut down by the soldiers of the Usurper. She and Curillian met by chance in the thick of the action, and in a split-second decision she chose to go with the prince back into his exile in the Silver Empire.
There, in the heart of Lancearon’s elven empire, they fell in love, and risked the perils of the Second War of Kurundar together. After Curillian recovered from a near-mortal wound he was prompted by the Silver Emperor to reclaim his throne and bring the Maristonian Army into the war at a crucial moment. Carmen accompanied him and helped him win his crown back. Although married long before in Ithrill by an elven priest, Curillian honoured her by elevating her to royalty, despite many misgivings from the armist nobility.
In centuries of tireless effort, Carmen managed to win round many of her critics. Some she charmed with consistent friendship, some she impressed by her queenly bearing – even if it was acquired, not inherited – and some she merely outlived. As queen she dedicated herself to healing the hurts wrought on Maristonia by the Usurper’s hate-filled interregnum, and she won much praise thereby. More than many a queen before her she excelled in almsgiving and patronage of education for the lower classes. She did not, however, share Curillian’s taste for adventure. The Second War of Kurundar had been more than enough for her, and while he risked his life in many border wars and foreign expeditions, she settled down to enjoy the peace she had fought for.
She aged much swifter than Curillian, though, not being blessed with his exalted bloodline and graced lifespan. The dashing young queen became the stately matriarch of Maristonia, beautiful still but demure and keeping mostly to the capital. When the invitation to the Tournament of Oron Amular came she was unenthusiastic and ill at ease to watch her husband depart. She governed the realm well in his latest absence, ably assisted by Lord High Chancellor Ophryior and Duke Cardanor of Arton.
Photo by Ashton Mullins on Unsplash