Anastasia I, Holy Orenian Empress
Anastasya Victoria Helen Ruthern (c. 1818 - 1868), furthermore known regally as Anastasya of Kositz and later Anastasia I was the empress consort of the Holy Orenian Empire as the wife to Philip III, Holy Orenian Emperor, following the sudden sequential events known as the Aster Revolution. She was the first empress consort to hold unofficial equal power to the emperor which was later on proclaimed official as she was named empress regnant, under the regnal name Anastasia I according to the Edict of Kositz.
Two months after her wedding to the then Prince Philip Amadeus, the newlyweds disappeared on a ship to acquire a life away from royal duties to raise their family. However, twelve years following their disappearance and the faked death of Prince Philip, the two would return to the lands of Almaris and take the imperial throne in a revolution against Emperor Philip II in a populace movement.
Anastasya would go on to be known as the Ruthless for her hand in the Petty Schism of 1850, the accusations of High Pontiff Everard VI claiming that she ordered the murder of her father-in-law, and the countless executions of traitors and enemies of the state by her own hand. She is known to perhaps be one of the more controversial figures of the 19th century, given her twice excommunication from the Church of Canon.
Given the death of her husband in 1868, directly after the conclusion of the war, Anastasia died of grief at the age of 50. However, before she died, Anastasia distributed the final will of the Imperial Crown: to dissolve the Holy Orenian Empire and to form the Kingdom of Oren and Grandmarch of Westfall in its place. This led to the bloody events of the Brothers' War, and her youngest son, Prince Frederick Charles, becoming the King of Oren.
- 1 Early Life
- 2 Marriage
- 3 Disappearance
- 4 Return to the Empire & the Aster Revolution
- 5 Reign as Holy Orenian Empress (1849-present)
- 6 Titles, styles, honours and arms
- 7 Issue
Anastasya Victoria Helen Ruthern was born on the 1st of Sun’s Smile, 1818, in the County of Kositz. She was the firstborn child of Princess Helen of Crestfall, daughter to Emperor Philip II, and Lord Viktor var Ruthern, son to the renowned General Erik var Ruthern and heir to the County of Kositz. Following her birth, however, Anastasya was swiftly sent away to a small nunnery in the snowy far Northwest of Almaris. Distant from the royal life her mother enjoyed, Anastasya studied religious texts, linguistics, and needlework most notably. She was subject to an early lifestyle accustomed to only pious, conservative traditions in the name of Canonism.
She returned to society with a subtle debut at the age of seven, in 1825. Anastasya was described by early 19th century historian Karl Sokolov as “[…] out of touch from all aspects of society besides religion.” Her accent was considered hardly understandable, and she traded out most common words in favor of her native tongue, Raev, when first adjusting to the new society.
During her first public appearance, Anastasya was captured and held for ransom by Ferrymen when attending a local Providence event. She was freed after allegedly praying for her captors from where she had been taken and bound, and thus managed to escape with her life. This hindered her adventurous nature very little, however. Attended by Sister Galina of Dobrov, Anastasya frequented the continent of Almaris to capital cities and nations such as the once Cerulean Kingdom of Sutica, the Monarchy of Vortice, and the Princedom of Elvenesse. She acquainted herself with notable figures such as Queen Johanna I, Prince Sigismund Charles (later King Sigismund III), High Prince Evar’tir Oranor, High Princess Medli Oranor, and the Monarch Athri Belrose. A majority of Anastasya’s public persona as empress would be influenced by the great Johanna I after having been taken under her wing after an accidental encounter on the city streets of Sutica.
Now in the capital city of the empire, Providence, and under the supervision of her mother, Anastasya was sent under rigorous tutorship by the highly acclaimed Madame Maisie d’Arkent in hard sciences and received lessons in etiquette and ballet from Lady Mary Othaman. Unremarkably, Anastasya was described as “one of the most unflattering dancers present, with no apt talent for any of the arts.”
She and her confidant at court, Lady Claude de Savoie, were outcasts amongst ladies more docile and mannered than they - who blatantly lacked the restraint of a proper lady. She switched, quickly so, from the mannerisms presented to her as a child. Anastasya was said to have such a lack of manners, or in other cases described as ‘boldness’, that she publicly denied Princess Amelia of Renzfeld in her invitation to join her entourage as a lady-in-waiting, and openly fought before other courtiers with the future emperor, Prince Philip Amadeus of Renzfeld, when told to wear a wig. Her outlandish behavior was ridiculed in the court, to the embarrassment of her mother. On multiple occasions, Anastasya was almost barred from the entirety of court for this continuous forthright behavior, which was often paired with denial to conform to the imperial norms and standards of an Orenian noblewoman. Her dark colors in attire and brazen behavior was not favored by the imperial family, particularly by the bright and lively Princess Amadea of Pompourelia who despised her entirely.
Betrothal to the Prince Philip Amadeus of Renzfeld
Betrothal to the Prince Philip Amadeus of Renzfeld Word of a potential betrothal between Anastasya and the future emperor was speculated in the midst of an Orenian social season, with ladies Claude de Savoie and Miss Alina Basrid assuming her to be the chosen consort in their renowned gossip tabloids called the Petit Potins. It was not until 1828 that the Emperor John VIII released a statement issuing the imperial betrothal to be official, after Prince Philip Amadeus met at the manor in Kositz to ask for Anastasya’s hand.
The betrothal request was met with quiet disapproval by her father and hesitancy from her mother, who - in spite of her outwardly presence - loathed royal life. Her grandfather, General Erik var Ruthern, harshly interrogated the prince and what role Anastasya would go on to play as his consort. It was then that Philip made his intentions clear to raise up Anastasya to be “[...] one of the most powerful consorts, and equal as a spouse.”
In 1836, Anastasya was wed to Prince Philip Amadeus of Renzfeld in the Cathedral of Providence. It was paired with the social season of 1835 and the Festival of Renzfeld, which included events such as cake taste-testing, a dress showcase, a magic exhibition, and two tournaments hosted by the Archchancellor Ledicort d’Azor. The wedding was remarked as being one of the most extravagant in display of nationalism and beauty of cohesion between the dominant culture of the Holy Orenian Empire, and Imperial Raev. Before her entrance, fourteen soldiers marched to the pews. The soldiers raised their swords high come the entrance of the imperial entourage. Without being told prior, the emperor John VIII stood before the crowd of attendees where he spoke of future greatness and piety between the pair, and gifted them the Duchy of Furnestock and later remarked that Anastasya was “a spitting image of Saint Julia herself.”
The imperial entourage began with two bridesmaids, the Governess Mary and Lady Philippa d’Azor, followed by the flower girls Valerie d’Azor and Francesca Helvets. Anastasya was accompanied by her grandfather down the aisle, in a stunning traditional Raev gown that had been silently contested by the Lady Governess before the wedding’s start. Her veil, 140 meters in length, was carried by the ladies who followed: Miss Alina Basrid, Lady Claude de Savoie, Lady Isabella Ruthern, and Lady Amaliya Ruthern.
The wedding was followed by a grand party in the Augustine palace garden, where the newlyweds were showered in gifts. The line for such was so long that it had taken hours for many of the guests to get through it, as families of note introduced themselves and friends old and new congratulated them. The duchess was gifted the renowned red sash of Princess Ophelia and a broken vase from the city of Johannesburg, along with horses, a giant collection of jewelry, and much more.
Only two months following the wedding, word spread of the sudden disappearance of the newly wedded Duke and Duchess of Furnestock. Only one letter was sent out to Lady Claude de Savoie, who informed the rest of the imperial family and government of what had occurred. She wrote;
"I write to you with the beautiful endless sea laid out before my eyes! What a glorious sight it is to behold, or perhaps it is the essence of the moment which has invoked me to feel so passionately of merely a body of water. Perhaps you may be dismayed, disappointed or alike, but I am free." - Princess Anastasya of Kositz, Duchess of Furnestock
Little is known about the land in which Anastasya resided and raised her beginning family alongside her husband, yet records from Anastasya’s personal letters and accounts from the imperial children state that it was known as ‘Ulyssa’, a small colony founded by the imperial pair in name of Philip’s mother, Amadea Ulyssa. Upon that isle, the two raised Princess Catherine, Princess Julia, Prince Peter, Princess Victoria, Prince James, and Princess Anna. The youngest son, Prince Frederick, would be born too early before their departure home to be properly brought up on Ulyssa.
One by one, the children were sent off on Princess Elizabeth, the ship that brought each royal child over to the lands of Almaris where they would be watched after by grandfather and step-grandmother, Prince Philip Aurelian and Princess Charlotte of Aldersberg. The eldest of the large family, Princess Catherine, would be coerced into a false funeral for her father upon the order of Emperor Philip II. Anastasya’s daughter announced the death of Prince Philip Amadeus and the imperial government drafted a fictitious tale of Anastasya’s distraught state over the death of her beloved husband. It was rumored that Anastasya had died of grief during this time as well. However, the two took the false tale of their deaths as a way to ease into the normal lifestyle that they were accustomed to - yet this did not last long.
Return to the Empire & the Aster Revolution
There is much speculation as to what caused the pair to return; however, there are tales of Anastasya disguising herself as a handmaiden in the Savoyard Court of Prince Olivier I and visiting the imperial city of Providence to understand the sentiment and state of the Orenian people. Allegedly, she returned to her new home of Ulyssa distraught, and begged her husband to join her back on the lands of Almaris to claim the imperial throne before it was too late.
The two both took on disguises as they befriended notable figures of the Savoyard Court, and regained relations with their old mentor, Prince Olivier I. Merely days after their return, people from all across the land were called to San Luciano in the throne room for a special announcement. There, Anastasya and Philip announced their return before hundreds of onlookers and deemed that they would assist Emperor Philip II in the war against the Grand Kingdom of Urguan. By Prince Olivier I, it was stated “the sun has risen in the east, soon the evil which lurks amongst the shadows shall have no place to hide.” Philip announced the creation of a mercenary group that would band together and defend the empire from the dwarves, and men from the crowd from all statuses and homelands gathered around. This display of assistance from Philip and Anastasya was hastily denied, and even said to be laughed at, by Emperor Philip II and the imperial government.
In what became later known as “Operation Augustine,” Anastasya snuck out of the palace in the midst of the night to take her children away from the confines of the imperial palace. She would nearly be caught in doing so, yet managed to free her children and bring them to Savoy without capture. One, however, was never seen again after that night - Princess Julia, who remained missing ever since.
Chaos ensued following their return. The mistress to the Duke of Adria, and the heir to the empire Prince Philip Aurelian turned on him in a sudden display of passion with an assailant to assist her. The two attacked the prince, to which some claim he died as a result of. During this, Anastasya witnessed the brutalized body of Prince Philip and, on the orders of Emperor Philip II, was demanded to be arrested immediately. She nearly fled the city, when she was tackled to the ground by a member of the ISA. However, the nearby imperial subjects began to surround the imperial soldiers and demand her release. Swords were drawn, as people were at the ready to defend her (among them being a fellow Ruthern from the Kingdom of Hanseti-Ruska, being sir Ailred Ruthern). The imperial soldier released her, going against his orders to the emperor, and told her to run.
A day later, given the refusal of aid, Prince Olivier I gathered people from all across the land into the throne room - which had been packed to the brim. There, Philip declared himself as the Holy Orenian Emperor, henceforth Philip III, and Anastasya as Empress consort at his side in 1849. Prince Olivier I stepped down from his place on the dais and vassalized the Princedom of Savoy in the name of a united humanity, and stood at the side of his protégés. It is said that a woman rushed forth and shoved a Lorraine Cross into her hand, and with a balled fist she held it up to the sky, shouting the famous “rally the faithful,” a saying that swept through the Holy Orenian Empire and others involved in what became known as the Aster Revolution, named after the purple colors worn by the Duke and Duchess of Furnestock on the day of their declaration. People wept out of joy and embraced one another as they cried out “rally the faithful” over and over amongst each other. This became publicly known as the “Mandate to Heaven.”
A new city was constructed during this time, and many were left unhomed (who fled to Savoy, to join Philip and Anastasya’s cause). New Providence was erected, yet this city was only held by Emperor Philip II for mere days as Emperor Philip III and Anastasya began their march towards the imperial capital. By the time they arrived, there was no one left in the capital city. Emperor Philip II had disappeared and Anastasya’s aunt, the Archchancellor, Princess Josephine of Oren, had fled. The monarchs were met with only one last resistance by Sir Erik Othaman and a collective of ISA soldiers. Many knelt before the emperor and empress, while the rest followed Sir Erik into his corner of the imperial lands that he had been granted to reside in. Some say that the man who had Anastasya tackled and released was among the soldiers knelt before them, who begged her forgiveness - for he was only following orders.
Followed by hundreds of Savoyards on horseback and even more Orenian subjects who had walked on foot to stand behind Philip and Anastasya, the newly reigning monarchs took the city of New Providence with no resistance.
Reign as Holy Orenian Empress (1849-present)
The Michaelite Schism of 1849
Continuation of the Urguani-Orenian War
Titles, styles, honours and arms
Titles and Styles
- 1818 - 1836: The Honorable, Lady Anastasya Victoria of Kositz
- 1836 - 1849: Her Imperial Highness, Princess Anastasya, Duchess of Furnestock
- 1849 - 1853: Her Imperial Majesty, Anastasya of Kositz, Empress consort of the Holy Orenian Empire
- 1853 - present: Her Imperial Majesty, The Holy Orenian Empress
Full title as Holy Orenian Empress
Her Imperial Majesty, Anastasia I, by the grace of GOD, Holy Orenian Empress, forever August, Queen of Renatus, Curon, Kaedrin, Salvus, and Seventis, Grand Duchess of Ves, Duchess of Furnestock, Novellen, Helena, Lorraine, Baroness of Renzfeld, Protector of the Heartlanders, Imperial Highlanders, and Farfolk, etcetera.
|Princess Catherine, Duchess of Westmark||1838||Alive||Joseph Clement de Sarkozy||Firstborn child of Philip and Anastasia. Princess Imperial and Duchess of Westmarch. Became Vice Chancellor and Orenian politician.|
|Princess Julia Amadea of Oren||1840||1860||Mosley Warlai||Secondborn child of Philip and Anastasia. Went missing during the Aster Revolution. Allegedly lived life of a commoner after wardship under Moliana, Baroness of Woldzmir.|
|Peter IV, Holy Orenian Emperor||1842||1868||Lucia of Azor||Thirdborn child of Philip and Anastasia. Proclaimed himself Holy Orenian Emperor following the death of his mother. Was later murdered by his youngest brother, Frederick, during the Brothers War.|
|Princess Victoria Augusta, Countess of Carolustadt||1843||Alive||George Octavius Galbraith||Fourthborn child of Philip and Anastasia. Countess of Carolustadt and Prefect of New Providence. Renowned for swordsmanship and combat skills.|
|Prince James Maximillian of Oren||1844||Alive||Unmarried||Fifthborn child of Philip and Anastasia. Disappeared after the dissolution of the empire.|
|Princess Anna Ulyssa of Oren||1845||Alive||Unmarried||Sixthborn child of Philip and Anastasia. Left her imperial titles behind to become an acolyte of the church.|
|Frederick I, King of Oren||1847||1883||Vivienne, Queen consort of Oren||Seventhborn child of Philip and Anastasia. Became King of Oren following the dissolution of the empire.|
|Princess Lorena Theodosia, Baroness of Casella||1851||Alive||Viktor Erik, Duke of Reutov||Eightborn child of Philip and Anastasia. Allegedly cursed due to the circumstances of her birth during the Michaelite Schism & as many died in her presence.|
|Princess Octavia Helen of Oren||1867||Alive||Unmarried||Ninthborn child of Philip and Anastasia.|