Edge of Darkness: The Broken Circle
Baroness of Markess
Human. Female. Aristocrat. Scarily competent.
“You want to know about security, Dusan? Security isn’t building a wall to separate you from the people who want to hurt you. Security, my boy, is walking among the people that want to hurt you, inviting them into your house, and finding which of them loves the sound of their own voice, or loves the sound of coin in their pocket. Security is taking that person and leaning on them, offering them silver to loosen their tongue. And when your enemy’s plots begin to fail, over and over, while those with loose lips grow richer and richer, when you hear rumors of an enemy hiding in your lands before they are ever able to strike, when those you rule fear your wrath as much as they love your coin…. only then, can you truly begin to feel secure.”
Eliska Terenov-Iannis grew up with her two brothers, Rickard and Edward. The Terenov family was a fairly prosperous merchant family that ran a trade and import/export business from the city of Light’s Herald. The family itself were the owners of Red Palfrey Manor, after their grandfather had supported Count Beltin Lightheart with the monetary funds to support his claim to the title of Duke of Ashwick after the “untimely demise” of Valis Stoutwall. With the land came the recognition as a member of the gentry of Luminairre.
Her older brothers both left to make a name for themselves. Rickard moved to Light’s Hand to help run the family business, and Edward joined the Red Friars.
By the time she was nineteen, things were taking a turn for the worst for her family’s business. In an effort to try to balance their fortunes with political power, her parents arranged to have Eliska married to a Knight, and heir to a Barony, close to Phoenix. When that Knight returned to Ashwick for R&R, he found himself married to Eliska.
Her new husband, Bedrich, only spent as much time at home as he was forced to; otherwise, he was constantly off on dangerous missions for the order. In the twelve years of their marriage, they only had one son, Dusan. This arrangement suited Eliska fine; she took to the care of Deril Manor with determination.
In many ways, Drevin, Bedrich’s father, took Eliska under his wing. She learned the art of ruling from watching his actions and reading his journals. While she already knew the value of the right coin, and the truths hidden in a whisper, Drevin’s training helped her turn it into an art form. For his part, Drevin treated her like the daughter he never had, growing closer to her in his final years as Baron than he was to his own son. She ruled Deril Manor as Drevin had taught her, bringing Eliska her first truly independent success as a ruler.
When Drevin abdicated his position of Baron, Eliska moved to Markess Manor, and ruled there much as she had ruled Deril Manor previously. The people of Markess and Deril Manor love Eliska as much as they fear her rarely seen wrath.
After the (presumed) death of her husband Bedrich, Eliska became the uncontested ruler of Markess and Deril. Much of her free time is spent hunting or riding, hobbies she taught Dusan, her only son. She has refused to remarry, preferring to maintain her title as Baroness alone.
Markess is a minor barony sworn directly to the Duke of Phoenix, in this case, Duchess Ambria Lightheart. Eliska maintains cordial relations with Duchess Ambria, but is not on good terms with the Warden of Ashwick, partly due to her family’s losses, both financially and in the people they have lost with the current bandit struggles.