A Brief History of Salvarian Monarchs, Volume 2, was written to follow up the original Brief History book, and continued a trend of enshrining a combination of the facts with Grey propagandism into official histories. Drafted by Sir Albert Trevithick, a former Imperial Guardsman turned historian, it chronicled the history of all Grey monarchs of the Jacobean line (from James the Conqueror onwards) preceding the sovereign to whom the book is dedicated. Copies of the book were widely distributed to libraries and other centres of learning, both with politics and learning in mind.
A Brief History of Salvarian Monarchs, Volume 2.
A History, by Sir Albert Trevithick
A Gift to His Imperial, Royal and Apostolic Majesty the King, James, Second of his name.
In continuation of the work of Wilmor Harley, my colleague and I present to our gracious King this extension to the history of the noble blood of Grey that guards our realm, and we pray you see to continue your patronage and good fortune towards us as your predecessors have.
With greatest regards,
The Master of the Faladian Writers' Guild.
In this second volume of A Brief History, I shall seek to cover the period that has followed the first Grey ascendancy, as - after brief interferences - the imperious and noble House of Grey restored in its second ascendancy has risen to its great heights once more, in the face of deadlier challenges, and so these annals should, with all expedient charge, shine light on the fortune and valour undefeated of the House of Grey.
James (I) the Conqueror of Asgarnia
The founder of the Jameson line of Greys, James was renowned both for the rigour of his conquests and his managements of the realm thereafter. After a valiant battle against the Olivriar usurper to the Asgarnian throne, James secured the royal seat at Falador and established his strength across the realm. Bringing together the nobles to a great court at a new palace, the Ivory Palace in Falador, he replaced feudal provincialism with a sense of a strong Asgarnian state. During his reign, the Principality of Burthorpe was peacefully restored to the Crown of Asgarnia’s vassalage, and he trained his eldest son, Varis, in the art of kingship, and surrounded him with many tutors, to ensure him to be a great King.
James, at the end of his life, created a force of five hundred paladins, and gave his life in battle against Tuska, securing the continued freedom and fortitude of all Gielinor, and left behind a realm in distinction and unity, strong and unwavering, as Asgarnia should best be governed.
Varis (II) Ironside of Asgarnia
Varis II’s rise to the throne would have continued in similar vein to the prior had it not been for the eruption of civil tensions with a fresh insurrection from the Kinshra, seeking - yet again - to seize control of the Asgarnian state. Forced to choose between maintaining a political order and managing an efficient war machine, Varis II carried the mantle of soldier and with great strength and tenacity not only drove back the Kinshra with valiance, but also put down those responsible for the murder and attempted usurpation of Grand Prince Arkhan of Burthorpe.
The restoration of the feudal system in order to carry out the means of the war allowed for the opportunity of the declaration of the Third Asgarnian Empire, and in this he secured Burthorpe’s peace under a local constitution, and set about the awarding of titles to his children to govern in his stead whilst he made war.
Wearied by battle, he feigned death in order to continue his fight whilst allowing the mantle of kingship to pass on to younger hands.
Quinn the Bold of Asgarnia
The rise of Empress Quinn provided some controversy due to shifting court factions which opposed her strict scrutiny of her generals, and collected around her brother, Edward. Despite this, however, she contended well both with managing affairs of the state, rooting out traitors and dispatching with them effectively within, and also leading her troops on the field of battle with a confident and keen blade. She was renowned for her resolute stoicism, and her refusal to let the ardour of the continuing war impact upon the normality of life in the majority of her dominions.
Quinn’s untimely death at the Battle of Falador provided a vacuum of power, and her brother Edward was swiftly installed to ensure the continued peace and stability of the realm.
Edward (II) the Proud of Asgarnia
Emperor Edward was a pious and proud man, though young, he expressed strong fervour in the commission of his duties as Emperor, and set about to resolve the issues of political schism by means of the establishment of a Parliament so that he may continue with his executive duties without let or hindrance. A resolute man, he refused to buckle in the face of insults in the face of Kharron, Sultan of the Kharid, and faced the heretic in honourable combat. Although he faced his end therein, his honour was not impugned.
Varis (III) the Old Magnificent of Asgarnia
Emperor Varis III ascended by the will of his brother, and was faced with various issues in the realm with which he needed to contend immediately. Sweeping reforms to both state and army came, and just as he had fought traitors eagerly as a mere Prince, he followed through with such in his duties as Emperor, working alongside the White Knights and his reformed Imperial Guard to secure the northern reaches of the Asgarnian realm. Parliament was abolished due to the particularist factions striving to seize control of military forces, and the seditious Lord Harawood was slain by the Emperor’s hand in honourable combat.
An attempted coup by a faction of White Knights was slowly put down, although the wavering regent of the period took the opportunity to strip the Emperor of Imperial station, forcing the Edict of Falador to secure for the Throne of St Edward its privileges, and in doing so, also began the process of severance from the Church of Entrana, which had been complicit in interferences against the Asgarnian Crown.
An erstwhile diplomat and practitioner of machtpolitik, Varis entertained a rivalry with Vergil of Kandarin so as not to concede against him, and moved quickly to ensure the perfidious Vekon was contained. Otherwise, he worked with great and swift effect to secure food provisions from the east to cover losses in the Kinshra War, and he presided over a gradual but effective restoration of the peace.
An assassination attempt came at his most puissant period, and his wife’s agent attempted to dispatch the King. Severely wounded, the Old Magnificent withdrew to safe hospice, and by the Edict of Taverley, did abdicate his throne. His wife was put to death for her treason.
Erysail the Confessor of Asgarnia
Duly elected by the Lord Electors (who were soon to be abolished), Princess Catherine the Princess Imperial was elected as Erysail, Queen of the Asgarnians, and pursued a strict policy of detente with Asgarnia’s neighbours, and is best known for her split from the Church of Entrana and the foundation, in full, of an independent Asgarnian episcopal church, under the guidance of the Crown as “Arbiter of the Faith”.
The Asgarnian Schism caused her uncle Edmund, Grand Master of the White Knights, to attempt a coup, for which he was put to death and expelled from the House of Grey as would-be kinslayer. A small rebel faction of White Knights rose up in Edmund’s name, supported by the Divine Rector of the Entrana Church, but were decisively put down by Queen Erysail, former King Varis III, Duke Valence Adair and Princess Elise in Falador.
A truce with the Kinshra marked the beginning of a long and clement reign, and Erysail’s period on the throne is regarded as some of the halcyon days of the Second Grey Ascendancy, with peace and prosperity largely undisturbed.
The publication of the Erysailite Code, a rigorous and enlightened document of codified law and legal rights to the citizenry, marked the greatest advancement of the politics of citizenry and justice in Gielinorian history, and is still in force today.
Queen Erysail retired after rearing her eldest daughter and son to succeed her.
Varissa the Young Magnificent of Asgarnia
Varissa ruled alongside her brother James, Duke of Sarim, and conducted the realm with general peace and piety. Renowned for her tenacity, Varissa’s reign saw various attacks from a resurgent Sicarius cult put down and a severe blow against Asgarnia’s oldest enemy, the perfidious Vekons, as Camelot was secured in the name of her cousin Thaylon, who had long lived in Asgarnia under the shield of protection extended by Varis III. Continuing the policy of protecting Thaylon, she revived the Old Magnificent’s sense of machtpolitik against the Vekons.
She spent a considerable period of her reign making efforts to restore relations with her estranged eastern neighbours, and upheld the principles of religious tolerance that had been introduced by her mother Erysail’s enlightenment ideals.
Stern and studious, Varissa was well versed in issues of diplomacy, and combined a hybrid approach of hard and soft power. Loyal to her country and her house, she displayed a sense of Asgarnian’s steeliness that has defined this household royal.
Varissa was poisoned at a dinner in Camelot by an unknown assassin, and although her life was saved by Prince Adrian of Albamonte and the Queen Mother, she abdicated the seat royal to her daughter in order to recover in peace.
Anastasia the Fair of Asgarnia
Anastasia took up the mantle of rulership at the age of sixteen years of age, with her uncle Prince James I, Duke of Sarim acting as her viceroy and regent. A shy and kind young girl, she was studious like her mother, skilled in diplomacy, and true to her family. Though she lacked the level of sternness her mother had, she was no less convicted. She wed Thaylon, now Rhames of Camelot, and under her reign Asgarnia and Camelot were a powerful united front. When Prince James fell ill, they appointed her twin brother Prince Henry as Viceroy of Asgarnia to rule in their name. Prince Henry, however, fell victim to a usurpation by Orion Dae who attempted to take the castle and conquer Falador. His attempt came to a quick halt when his general turned on him and blew up the castle, killing all those inside, including Prince Henry.
Princess Elise, the Grey-loyalist General, declared martial law and Anastasia and Rhames returned to Asgarnia to restore the kingdom. Shortly after, the Kinshra marched on Asgarnia in the Battle of Giant’s Hill where all the Grey nation and their collected allies gathered together to defend their patrimony. The battle was lead by Prince James II, Duke of Sarim (son of the prior) and King Rhames of Camelot whose combined forces crushed the rebellion. Peace was restored and then Prince James was elected as the next King of Asgarnia.
This second volume of "A Brief History of Salvarian Monarchs" details the reigns of Kings, Queens, Emperors and Empresses in the order of their first coronation. Though this volume concerns itself only with Asgarnians, herein listed chronologically, the third volume shall consider the branches of Kandar Greys during and since the time of Sennis of Camelot. As for Asgarnia, this testament ends at Anastasia, and to continue would take us into the history still being made by our noble and puissant liege, King James II.
The lessons of history teach us a clear and understood path for the future, and if we are to conquer the challenges that Gielinor shall throw at us, we must build ourselves on the foundations built by the great statesmen and generals that the House of Grey has so kindly provided to be our guardians and leaders.