3. Dispelling Prejudices and Aadsenfeloth's Capture

The events surrounding Avarca Cyr's ascension to the Imperial throne were shrouded in a haze of mystery. In fact it is only by luck that we can discern the truth from the many assumptions and hypotheses that we find in the biased documentations of that time period. The historical documents written by the Imperial recorders of that time are undoubtedly shoddy, owing mainly to ancient prejudices towards Narcians. It is from one manuscript that we glean fact and truth, a diary of Emperor Eiran Ephath IV's advisor.

The true account of Avarca's promotion was hidden until recent times. Thanks to the Gods and the luck of a young Narcian school boy the manuscript divulging this information was recovered. The young boy stumbled over a small cave in the Flatplains Region of Rawdas on the way to school one day. He was about to pass it by when he saw a glint of light in the recesses of the cavern. Intrigued, the boy crawled into the cave and retrieved the object. Upon exiting the cave he realized what it was: an old, moldy scroll with a golden necklace to tie it shut. The curiousness of the position of the document sparked the boys interest, he had almost broken the seal to read it before he realized it bore the insignia of the Empire. Upon realizing the obvious importance of the document, the child ran home and gave it to his parents, who immediately turned it over to Red Hand officials.

This ancient, muddy scroll held the secret behind the Cyr dynasty's origins. For this reason it's contents have remained confidential to the public until now. Thanks to Yuvecen Haytha, High Advisor to Eiran Ephath IV, the secret can be revealed.

The events that teach us why Avarca Cyr was able to become the Emperor of the Red Hand took place during the Age of Short-Lived Dynasties. The Ephath Dynasty had seen only 5 emperors before Avarca Cyr was mysteriously handed the throne. Eiran IV was the last direct heir in the Ephath family, his step-sister, Icea Ara-Ephath should have been the next ruler of the Empire, but Avarca took the throne. This excerpt from Yuvecen Haytha's diary accounts for what happened:

18th of Moonbane in the year 650 3M
Emperor Eiran Ephath IV, long live his majesty, has commissioned this entrance into my diary. He has commanded me to hide it well so that some day, long after our time, it may be found. His majesty the Emperor of the Grand Red Hand hopes that his legacy will not be tainted by the accounts given in this book, but he does not wish the truth to be withheld for too long. I, his loyal advisor, shall officially and earnestly record His dealings with the Narcians Tyral and Valic Cyr.

Today, 18, Moonbane 3,650, his Majesty invited me to a meeting of shocking importance. His Lordship met with the Narcian slaves Tyral and Valic Cyr. Two slaves of little importance until a few months ago.

Valic, wife of Tyral, caught the eye of the Emperor, long live His Majesty, with her beauty one day in the month of Houndsbane. He was bewitched by her looks and lust flared in his heart. He immediately sent me down to the young slave and gave me authority to buy her from her master no matter what the cost. She appeared in front of the Great Emperor, long live His Majesty, and inquired what he needed her for. The Emperor, long live His Majesty, eloquently composed a poem on the spot, a poem that spoke of her beauty. Valic seemed surprised but quickly regained the composure expected of a slave and asked again what His Greatness requested. He dismissed her into the care of His other female slaves, giving them orders to bathe her in perfumes and dress her in finest hark silk. Even I noticed the radiance of this previously common slave when she walked back into the Emperor's hall. The Emperor, long live His Majesty, dismissed all the courtiers for the day, including me, and took the girl to his bed that night.

The next day I remember His Majesty allowed his secret lover to go to her house at her request. A few hours later guards informed me that a Narcian by the name of Tyral Cyr had been arrested for attempting to force entry into the Imperial Palace. I quickly informed His Majesty of this, he recognized the surname of the slave that had been imprisoned immediately, and he went down to his cell to speak with him. The Emperor, long live His Majesty, returned to his throne room with both Tyral and his wife, Valic. The enraged Narcian husband had apparently stormed to the Palace in order to confront His Majesty. Upon hearing that the woman he had slept with the night before was married to Tyral His Majesty fell on his throne and held his head in his hands. The Emperor, long live His Majesty, apologized profusely to the pair and spoke thus: "Valic, why did you not tell me you had a husband before I took you into my bed? Grant me a boon, young Cyr, I knew not that your wife was a married lady before I shamelessly adulterated her! I must reconcile myself to you in order to be seen pure in the eyes of the Gods again! Tyral Cyr, I apologize for my rash actions upon seeing your wife's beauty. No excuse can be given for my lust, I crave your forgiveness. Ask of me anything in repayment for my heinous mistake!" Tyral's rage abated and he asked for a few months time to ponder what he and his wife wanted as retribution for the Emperor's crime of ignorance.

Now, today, the 18th of Moonbane, the two slaves returned, ready to submit their request to the Exalted Emperor, long live His Majesty. I sat at my Master's side at his request. I listened carefully and memorized the shrewd request made upon His Majesty by Tyral Cyr: "Oh Emperor, Lord of the Red Hand, Ruler of Musmercia, Kail, and Narcia, Retainer of the Musmercian Gods, we have decided what to ask of you in return for our forgiveness. As we are but poor slaves who have never known freedom we have never had hope that our children, that we plan to bring into the world soon, would lead lives of any importance, until now. Our one request is that our first born be given the throne of the Empire." I nearly choked to death on the bread I was eating (it was lunchtime) upon hearing these words, His Majesty however, simply kept rapt attention on Tyral. The Narcian continued, "This shall account for the full reconciliation for your sins against me and my wife and against your Gods. You are forgiven if you accept this offer." The Emperor, long live His Majesty, agreed immediately, much to my surprise, and seemed quite relieved to have the matter solved. I must remember always how noble a man His Majesty is.

I have no doubt the ascension of a Narcian to the throne of the Empire shall cause an uproar. His Majesty and I both hope that maybe a Narcian Emperor coming to power will dispel the hateful prejudices against that race. I pray that foolish prejudices will not uproot our Grand Empire.

This is the account of the pact made between His Majesty, Emperor Eiran Ephath IV, and Tyral and Valic Cyr. Upon His Majesty's death, Ishathel forbid it, the crown of the Red Hand shall pass to the House of Cyr, the Ephath Dynasty shall end and for the first time, a Narcian shall hold the throne.
-Yuvecan Haytha
High Advisor to His Majesty, Eiran Ephath IV
Official Recorder and Historian of the Red Hand

Avarca Cyr was born 2 years after the above contract was made. 23 years after this event, Eiran IV passed away and, true to his word, Avarca Cyr was crowned emperor. How the Imperial officials were persuaded into crowning him we can only guess. Historians have put forth three main theories: 1-Eiran himself ensured that Avarca would be crowned before his death, 2-Yuvecan (who was quite a powerful politician) swore that Eiran had willed the Narcian to be crowned, or 3- one of Eiran's appointed dukes was told of the secret pact and ensured that Avarca was crowned.

Outrage from most of the Empire was viciously shown at Avarca's coronation. Crowds of citizens attempted to storm the stage, thankfully the guards were still faithful to their creed and protected the new Emperor. Most of the Red Hand people completely ignored the new monarch's coronation speech, which, had they listened, might have shown them that Narcians were not the dumb barbarians they were painted to be. His speech proved he was eloquent and spoke with style. This is the speech as it was recorded at the time:

Citizens, politicians, and all other fair subjects of the Glorious Red Hand, I know the prejudices towards my race you harbor. I beseech fairness of you, I entreat ye to judge only after you have seen my actions as the Emperor of your Grand Empire. Should I lose your faith from any other means besides ancient enmity then I will surely step down with the slightest petition. I implore ye to allow me five years to acquire your confidence. Call me a blasphemer you may, for I do not follow your deities, but I beg ye to observe the way I rule, not the Gods I worship. Why let religion hinder the impetus of our Glorious Empire? I shall heed no quarter in our scientific, scholastic, and territorial advances. Will the rites I hold to or the color of my skin undermine our progress? I shall do my best to hold to the standards you have developed for your Rulers.

In the name of all the Gods, all the races, and all the Grand Nations of the Red Hand, I pledge to uphold the names of Sovereign, Emperor, and Retainer of the Red Hand. I swear fealty and allegiance to you, my people, and our majestic Empire. In health and illness, in good times and bad, I vow to vindicate the expectations placed upon me this day with honor. As Emperor of the Red Hand I avow to safeguard our sacred lands and nations. I take as my commission the protection of our learning and you the citizens of our Grand Empire

Right away Avarca dismissed the Governor of Rawdas and the Duke of Kail District and replaced them with his cousin Eriva Cyr and his father Tyral. This was of course a great political decision, even though it caused rioting and more unrest, because it ensured his position as Emperor. If 2 of his most trusted family members were placed in the Council of Office he would not be voted as unable to rule, as he feared would happen because of his race. Avarca did not want to lose this opportunity, he knew the time had come for the Narcians to have a better place in the Empire.

It took Avarca the first 6 years of his reign to show his people that he was just as capable as a Musmercian to rule. During this time he did all he could to show the people he was loyal to them. He dropped taxes, he gained allies by diplomacy alone, and he often donated his own income to the poor and oppressed. Many times during these years his life was threatened. His personal guards thwarted over 20 attempted assassinations and the Emperor himself survived several failed poisonings. Some of the people began to have sympathy for the stressed ruler. Eventually, the Narcian's subjects began to lose their old prejudices when they saw how able a politician he was. The Senators and Seats of the Council of Office respected him even quicker then the commoners. His shrewd politics gained Avarca the trust of his fellow politicians. Slowly the people were falling in love with their compassionate Emperor. Regardless of assassination attempts Avarca Cyr had continued to travel the streets and highways of his Empire. He spoke kindly to all people and gave all the help he could to raise their quality of life even to the extent of personal sacrifice. The hatred towards Narcians began to abate, and these people began being freed as slaves, they were soon allowed jobs and even positions in government.

In the year 3,692 the secret of the Narcians was revealed. Their secret place of origin, Aadsenfeloth, was planned to be explored. Avarca told explorers where the island of Aadsenfeloth could be found. The people found out that Avarca had been born there. A strange thing happened then, something Avarca didn't intend to happen, Avarca was supplanted for a few years by a Musmercian. This Emperor-Regent was placed by a conspiracy of the government, the Musmercian lust for land was great, they wanted Aadsenfeloth for the Empire. The Council of Office and the Senate threatened Avarca's appointed politicians into voting for this rare action. They wanted land, and they knew they would have to kill Narcians to get it.

Icthialos Paegus, the Emperor-Regent, was a ruthless man of war. He allowed Aadsenfeloth to be explored and he used diplomacy only for a few months, when the Narcians of Aadsenfeloth would not consent to Imperial control, he attacked. Thousands of Narcians were slain in a war that lasted 8 years, however, many more Musmercian soldiers met their fate on this island than was expected. This island was sacred to the Narcians, and it was not to be given up lightly.

In the year 3,700, Aadsenfeloth came under the control of the Empire. Avarca was given back the throne and peace, for the most part, returned to the world. However, some of the Aadsenfeloth Narcians were angry at Avarca for giving their land away. Revolution attempts sparked to life, many underground groups fought against the Imperials that now ruled their country. The fighting dragged on in broken bouts for the next 300 years. Most of these were unorganized. After the first few rebellions, however, most of the Narcians simply accepted the rule of the Empire, they had seen how this would benefit them. Their quality of life raised greatly and only small bands of patriots defied the Empire after 3,810. The Empire was accepted by the Narcians mainly because it's Emperor was one of their kind. Indeed Avarca Cyr and his legacy could be traced back to the Dessert of Descent in Aadsenfeloth. No significant rebellions have occurred since the year 4,012, mainly due to the fact that they were treated kindly and with respect, allowed to keep their customs and religion.

The Cyr dynasty was destined for greatness. Avarca's descendants brought peace and light to the Empire for an amazing 3,508 years, the longest dynasty of Emperors, Dukes, and Governors that ever was or will probably ever be. It is for this reason that this family is referred to as the Grand Cyr dynasty. Aadsenfeloth, the origin of the Narcians, was finally brought to light.

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Dear Reader,
This is the end of this part of the Aadsenfeloth history I am scribing for the honorable Quesen V. Now that you are aware of how Aadsenfeloth came to be part of our Glorious Empire I may write further books about Aadsenfeloth itself. Thank you for reading thus far, and I hope you have found this compilation of history enlightening.-Kyrus of Yesheun, Historian and Recorder for His Majesty, the Governor of Aadsenfeloth, Quesen V.