|History, Meet the Voltanes
Author: Scribe of Elhnaka PM
The history of the fifteenth dynasty to rule the Elhnakan Empire.Rated: Fiction K - English - Fantasy/Adventure - Words: 523 - Reviews: 2 - Published: 08-20-12 - id: 3051884
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Meet the Voltanes
Gaigrias Voltanes was arguably the most influential ruler in the history of the Elhnaka. He strengthened Imperial authority and expanded the Empire in almost every direction. But he was far from destined to ascend the Elhnakan throne.
Gaigrias Calios was born heir to the minor duchy of Voltana, in the service of the faltering Belasies Dynasty. At the time Imperial commandments reached no further than the walls of Tsivra. Instead the realm was in the hands of various powerful dukes, counts and barons. Over the years these lords had become more concerned with their own personal gains than the defence of the Empire.
A severe drought in 2776 EP not only created severe hardships for the Elhnakan peasantry, but also pushed the Brennish tribes South in desperate search for food. While most noblemen took refuge inside walled cities, Gaigrias stayed behind to defend his small duchy. The peasants, who had been abandoned by their own lords, were quick to rally around him. Eventually Gaigrias and the peasant levy managed to push back the invading Northerners, he subsequently became a hero to the people on the Elhnakan plain.
Wanting to keep an eye on this popular leader, the Court appointed him Commander of the Guard. The high nobility hoped that by keeping him close they could manipulate the young man, but the result was the opposite.
Gaigrias efficiently manoeuvred between the different fractions, executing or exiling his opponents, until he eventually became the most powerful man in the Empire. Having named and deposed of two Belasies rulers he finally decided that further charades were unnecessary and proclaimed himself Alosae in 2797 EP. He thereby established the Voltanes Dynasty, the fifteenth Imperial dynasty to rule Elhnaka.
Having ascended the throne Gaigrias needed to consolidate his power. He did so by conquering the lands around the upper Opala river. Once victorious, he did not distribute the spoils among his dukes as was customary. Instead he kept the estates of slaughtered Opalese lords under Imperial administration.
When the dissatisfaction of the dukes on the Elhnakan plain turned into open rebellion, Gaigrias gave the Opalese lords the chance to demonstrate their new found loyalty by helping him suppress the uprising. After a long struggle his victory was complete and power was firmly in the hands of the throne.
Having several wives was also a mean for the first Voltanes Emperor to strengthen his hold over the realm. However, the resulting multitude of sons caused a fierce struggle for succession which nearly tore the elderly Gaigrias's Empire apart.
When the Emperor's fifth son Taechios finally emerged victorious, only three of his half-brothers remained alive. The Elhnakan Empire was saved, but Gaigrias died a broken and bitter old man. In order to avoid similar tragedies, Emperor Taechios made it customary that only the first Imperial wife would be called Empress and that her oldest son would become the heir apparent.
To the earliest Voltanes emperors violence was always a tool to reach an objective, not a goal in itself. Later Voltanes rulers would inherit their forefathers' calculated approach to bloodshed, with some notable exemptions...
Per J.H. Olsson