|by Howard david Johnson, Check his work out, its quite exceptional!|
This year Lady Poe, Queen of all Kasdalan, has decided to take a new husband in marriage. The hapless consort is being donated by the Dreaming City of Ulos in the south, where she will retrieve Prince Araen Kyramesh, to be handed over by his own father as a way of appeasing the Dark Queen.
It has been known for centuries now that Poe seeks out her consorts in neighboring lands, and that those who are most generous in aiding her in her quest are in turn likely to be rewarded with gifts, tribute and open trade from Kasdalan, while those which do not comply often suffer misfortune or disaster. Five years ago the Lakemen of Piridion saw this happen when Lady Poe took an interest in highlord Camaden Joss of the city of Jezer along the northshore. Highlord Joss did not reciprocate, and instead rebuffed Lady Poe and subsequently married the Shaddizhari born noblewoman Atatha Zeshir. Poe seemed initially disinterested, but within the year an army from Kasdalan marched on Jezer, demanding that the city pay tribute for “unpaid taxes” or suffer the consequences. In fifty days of sieging, during which Poe called upon the power of shadow dragons to sink a fleet from Ulthar that was dispatched to aid Jezer, she unleashed plague and famine upon the city, and then at last, having forced the city to submit, strode triumphantly through its streets to the palace, where she accepted the highlord’s surrender, then took his wife hostage. Atatha Zeshir, now pregnant, was escorted back to Mordren where she subsequently gave birth to a daughter named Yaela Zeshir Poe, whom the Dark Queen adopted for her own. Zeshir was never seen again, though some suspect she is locked away deep in the bowels of the City of Bones.
Now, having once more decided she should marry, Lady Poe cast her gaze south to Ulos, where she had not received a husband in more than a century. Ulos has always paid its safety with a healthy tribute, much of it mined from its operations in the Gothas Mountains to the south, but the elder King Varden Kyramesh appeared to have no qualms whatsoever about handing over his own eldest son to the Dark Queen. Araen is locally known to be a wastrel and a disappointment, who is addicted to the opiates that the upper class of the city delight in, so it comes as no surprise that King Varden gladly offers him to the Dark Queen, preferring instead to groom his younger brother, Kalael, for the position in the future.
Problems will soon arise, however. Lady Poe is, in fact, interested in Kalael and not Araen. She intends fully to take the younger prince from Varden, and is hopeful that this will provoke a conflict with the king of Ulos, for she would delight in an opportunity to spread fear and chaos throughout the decadent city-state, or to even, at last, take it under her dark wing, to bring it once more in to the fold of Kasdalani control. She will soon travel to Ulos, with her eldest daughter Etrana Poe, whom she intends to give the city to as a gift, should Varden provoke her.
Next: The Purging of the Minotaurs