Famously descended from both the earlier Elven Imperial dynasty and an alleged sea monster, Queen Antiocha represents the last Elven kingdom to rule in northern Realmgard. Many of the current settlements in northeastern Realmgard were founded in their earliest form by members of the dynasty of Marinus Victor.
How exactly a so-called “Sea Bear” propagated a dynasty of Elven nobility remains much debated, as does the exact nature of such a creature. For many historians, the preferred explanation is that the identity of the Sea Bear arises from garbled historical sources and that the Sea Bear was, in fact, a person — a powerful pirate or naval leader nicknamed the Sea Bear. The assumption is that this crucial detail was obfuscated with the passage of time, leading to the rise of the erroneous belief that the Sea Bear was a sea monster.
Or so one hopes…
Though the Empire of the Islands was a short-lived polity, the dynasty founded by Marinus Victor during the division of the Elven Empire maintained independent control in some form for several centuries, reconstituting itself in this latest period into the Kingdom of Marinus.
The most famous member of dynasty — other than the sea monster from which the dynasty supposedly claimed descent — is Queen Antiocha, widely remembered — and depicted in art — as the most beautiful woman in the history of Realmgard.
Inheriting rule of her kingdom at a crucial junction of history, with her territory facing incursions both from ascendant barbarian kingdoms and a resurgent Elven Empire making attempts to reconquer its lost territory.
A shrewd diplomat, much of the kingdom’s victories during the reign of Queen Antiocha came at the negotiating table rather than on the battlefield, but Antiocha was able to secure her kingdom’s previously tenuous position through tireless diplomacy and generous gifts.
Ultimately, though, both Queen Antiocha and her kingdom were doomed, all of her efforts coming to little more than merely delaying the inevitable. Though able to secure alliances with her kingdom’s foreign rivals, Queen Antiocha was unable to escape internal strife and her most dangerous enemies proved to exist within her own court. Palace intrigue culminating in a vicious civil war within the Kingdom of Marinus left the kingdom weakened and vulnerable and its territory was soon overwhelmed by barbarian incursions.
Queen Antiocha disappears from the historical record at a young age and the scholarly consensus is that she died suddenly during the chaotic period of her kingdom’s collapse. Unsurprisingly, the kingdom did not survive long without its most famous ruler.
The mystery surrounding Queen Antiocha’s presumed death has confounded scholars and inspired poets for generations and has done much to contribute to the Queen’s legendary reputation and enduring popularity with poets and storytellers.
Notably, the site of her tomb has never been discovered, despite many expeditions being undertaken throughout the generations.
Although Queen Antiocha herself is not known to have had children, many prominent Elven families are still able to trace descent back to the dynasty of Marinus Victor.
I’m not really sure what I was going for with that picture beyond “pink hair and crown.” I’m not crazy about the image itself, but I think this is the best I’ve done so far at the ‘time-worn fresco’ angle.
Also, this is probably the most immediately useful write-up I’ve done so far, since I want to incorporate Queen Antiocha into a story going forward.
Also, I’ve mentioned it before, but I did not make up that ‘royal dynasty descended from a Sea Monster‘ thing.
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