Aldeaaris- in their own, now almost extinct tongue, ‘keepers’, and in the tongue of our world’s history, anything but. In the time of the Raladians, the Aldeaaris were but one family — during the seven hundred and five year rule of their predecessors, the soon-to-be kings have climbed their way from the very bottom of nobility, the owners of a small vineyard, to the ones that would have the power to overthrow the whole kingdom and redefine the shape of the world. While the historical facts about their heritage are highly obscured to this day thanks to their own efforts, the events that took place in 705R and the ones preceding it are already well-documented, as are the ones that have happened ever since. With this comprehensive guide to the family’s genealogy, I, Master Fulburius, aim to shed light to the true nature of this dynasty of paladins, warriors, kings, traitors, and one unlikely mage. There is nothing more fitting to start with than that of the story of Tharien the Aldeaari, the would be first king after the Aldeaari Ascension, son of Thalenes, one of the Lord Regents of the then ruling Raladian Kingdom. The lands that these already up-wind nobles owned had gathered hold over the years — two generations before, the Aldeaaris were only owners of one of the smallest castles in the Eastern Dominion (the castle, today not even a ruin, was called Balam, meaning ‘city of birth’ in Aldeaari), yet by the time Thalenes came to rule, their influence and their alliance with the Llewyns (their close neighbors to the north, whom with centuries old allianced would unfold through history) earned them control of an entire geographical region spanning from the Hadia Mountains to the River Nerlon leading to the ocean.
At this point, it is worth mentioning that the reasons for which an uprising against the Raladians was possible is far more complicated than to be described here, please refer to my study “The Last Century of Raladia” for more information. The initial role in the Aldeaaris was that of a simple upstart using their large count of men and resources, along with well-chosen allies: There were plenty who were willing to take up arm for the prospect of gold, lordships, and castles, and the family promised all for when they won. Contrary to popular belief, the rebellion itself did not spring from a simple spat of jealousy over one of the Raladian princesses- as far as historical recountings show, Thalenes and his son, Tharien had been planning it only on their own after they had been threatened by their king for conspiring with the then only renegade, religious group opposing the spiritual system of the Raladians (see “Raladian Culture and Beliefs”), the Holy Brethren, who, having been one of the sole surviving practicers of the religion of the Light at that time, lent a hand in the Aldeaari Ascension to come. Tharien himself was not a greedy man, at any point of his life: his friends and family regarded him as a ‘kind boy, devoted to his father’, and the subjects he would have under his reign often uttered similar praises of him. He supposedly converted to the holy faith when at the age of fourteen, his body was crushed by a falling tree — a paladin healed him with his magic, prompting his father and himself to be fascinated with the religion of the strange man for the rest of their lives. For the record, not all of the family was happy about this — Tharien’s mother supposedly left the family after their religious convergence, finding solace in the arms of one of the much younger Llewyn princes that had broken ties with his family as well.
The Raladians’ suspicions were right: the Aldeaaris, today known for their connection to the paladin faith, had mounted a full-out war against their king, slowly joined by new and new regions until the whole kingdom — then reaching from the Marshlands of today to the east of Howling Valley — burst into flames, seeing the chance to gain more than ever before. While the campaign was initially unsuccessful — Tharien’s father led a massive charge of about a thousand men not far from Balneor, then only a smaller city, only to be crushed and killed by the King, and consequently making Tharien more determined to fight — after a meager six months, the tides turned, and from the passive-aggressive stronghold-jumping came a devastating assault, swallowing most of the country until all that was left was the heart — Old King Valley, or Raladia, as they knew it then. This terminology came to be with the Aldeaari Ascension — while the language of the Raladians has been taken over by the Aldeaari over the years thanks to the common use of it at their time of arrival onto the throne, out of spite they banned the very name of the kingdom, and over hundreds of years, it faded away entirely, without many people caring. The final onslaught was that of the Battle of the Bloody Mountainsides — a name which was descriptive of the crimson into which the Valley turned when the combined forces of many under the banner of the Aldeaaris (crest depicted as a cross above a keep) attacked it, effectively wiping out every last living soul there. There are rumors of one branch of the Raladians surviving, if interested, see “Raladian Genealogy”.
After this came the rebuilding of the realm: the knights and lords who were helpful got their rewards, and while the kingdom was reborn with new borders within itself, some were lost to the war — namely, those of the western and north-western territories, ranging from the Great Forests to the Mouth of the North. In these regions, the loss of public order gave way to the resurgence of tribal communities’ control, effectively giving its people their lands back — something, which the Aldeaaris would try to regain a few years later, but would fail over and over again thanks to the elusiveness and rural nature of the enemy. Tharien was crowned first of the Aldeaaris right away: his first edict was the construction of a capital fitting to his reign, taking the Balneor — what’s known today as the Higher or Inner District, where nobles dwell — and turning it into one of the largest cities in the world. In addition to gaining size (about four times its original), the city was fitted with the Royal Palace, still used today as the place from which the Aldeaaris rule their lands — the architecture used is highly reminiscent of the original lands and keeps of the family, being from the East, having wildly ornate accents and golden linings, as well as grandiose spaces for its dwellers. Soon after Tharien’s rule was consolidated (and he took his wife, Caytlenn, who was one of the northern allies’ daughters to our best knowledge), he ordered three more of these newfound cities built — in the west, to guard his realm against the wild lands, he founded Balazar, (City of the Trees), in the north, to watch over the snowy mountains and the renegades to its west, Balador (City of the Mountains), and in the east, he built Balathor (City of the Roads, after the Mage Secession known as the Circle) to connect the West and the East, only to be used later as a vanguard against the also seceding East. As for the Holy Brethren, the order received more than they could ever had hoped for — in addition to lands, titles, and gold, their beliefs became intertwined with the Aldeaaris. The paladins, later renamed to the Holy Order to symbolize their authority, accompanied the Aldeaaris ever since, spreading the religion of Light to all corners of their kingdom and beyond. Many of the Aldeaaris themselves turned out to be gifted in the arts of the holy magic as well: in addition to Tharien himself becoming a paladin after he witnessed their potential in the war, there are numerous kings and heirs in their line of succession that had a tale of their own about these things. As for Tharien, he became one of the most well-known rulers of the land, sparking a wave of now centuries-old heritage, in which even his name is honored to this day (Aldeaaris tend to lean towards giving names starting with the letters ‘T’ or ‘Th’, regarding it as a respectful bow towards the first of them. He met his untimely end in his 63rd year of age, while on a hunting trip in the Northern Territories, mauled to death by a mountain lion after straying from his party.
Name: Tharien the Aldeaari
Born: 16 BA (689R), Bending Willows, Raladia, Eastern Dominion
Died: 47 AA, Hunter’s Lodge, Aldeaari Kingdom, Northern Territories
Heirs: Thalenes the Worthy, Adelas the Short-Reigned
Notable Facts: First Aldeaari King, Conqueror of Raladia, Founder of Balneor, Slightly Limping After 14, Scar On Right Side of Face, Cousin to Darnel of the Gynweryns