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King Cael'mus of Froturn

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King Cael'mus I
King Caelmus.png
Coin based off Cael'mus's portrait, made during his reign
Vital statistics
Gender Male
Race High Elf
Birth 29th of Randametta, 569 AEKE
Death 5th of Naurnaara, 809 AEKE
Actual Age:
240 in Artograchian years,
247 in Terran years (at the time of death)
Apparent Age:
40 years
Religion Titanist Religion.svg Titanism (disputed by some, see Controversy)
Family
Consort Queen Frésa
King of Froturn
Reign 691-809 AEKE
Predecessor King Vonayus of Froturn
Successor King Ivahó of Froturn

Cael'mus the Lean (High Elven: Cael'mus ; IPA: [t͡ʃʰeːlmʊs] Gnome-speakernotes.png) - also known as Cael'mus the Impious - was the King of Froturn between 691 and 809 AEKE. His reign was characterized by an increase in royal authority at the expense of both the senate and various local governments, leading to accusation of tyranny. Quite controversially, the king also enacted a series of unofficial reforms regarding religious freedoms and authority that caused outrage among the native nobility and clergy, ultimately leading to the Froturnish Civil War.

Biography

Early Life

Cael'mus was born in 29th of Randametta, 569 AEKE, in Yanus, as the third son of King Vonayus of Froturn and Maer'ylla, and the only son that would survive into adulthood. The young Cael'mus was a very weak and sickly child. Constantly fearing the imminent death of their child, Cael'mus's parents contacted nearly every priest and bishop from the realm, but none could find out what kind of illness the child had - they, however all concluded that it was a disease of magical nature.

Desperate, his parents sent word to Dragoc to ask the High Druid of Minosa, inviting him to examine the High Elven prince. The Wood Elf quickly came and unlike all the Titanist priests, he was able to cure Cael'mus of his terminal ailments. This is what ultimately led to Cael'mus falling in love with Wood Elven culture and taking interest in the Wood Elven religion.

Despite the kindling he received from the druid, he was still a weak and lean man, therefore, his parents did not bother him with any sort of martial education, preferring to let him stick to his books, poems, paintings and other pieces of art. His only means of defending himself in case of an attack was the Magic he was slowly learning - he never became a full-fledged Wizard, using magic only for small tricks, everyday convenience to compensate for the limitations of his frail body and for self-defence in case of an attack.

Cael'mus got married on 17th of Edhealasse, 645 AEKE with Frésa, a High Elven noblewoman who shared his interest in Wood Elven culture. The two first met in Dragoc. Fearing rejection, Cael'mus was reluctant to ask his father's approval to marry Frésa, but he asked anyway, and his father gave a positive answer - his would-be-marriage with Frésa got its parental approval, so the two decided to wed. Their honeymoon was spent in Dragoc, where the natural beauty of the landscape, the hotsprings, the teas and the clean air helped to breathe life into the prince's frail and sickly body.

Returning to Froturn, Prince Cael'mus was appointed to govern Edhel Yaara, a city in South-Eastern Froturn located near the borders with Dragoc. His father did so out of consideration, to have a compromise between employing his son in order to give him experience in governorship and having him rest at warmer, healthier place. Previously, he was considered to be appointed to govern Patunia, a small and underdeveloped coastal region in the cold and mountainous North-Western Froturn, but due to considerations for his health, the idea got scrapped and he was appointed to Edhel Yaara instead.

Proconsul of Edhel Yaara

Assuming his post as the proconsul of Edhel Yaara, Cael'mus was given a modest but quaint villa to live in. Initially built in an exclusively High Elven style, with Froturnish furnishing, the building would soon receive extensions in Wood Elven style - like an artificial hot spring - and also Dragoci-style glassware, to cater for the proconsul's taste in art.

Even though Cael'mus's governorship was deemed effective, as he brought in an adequate amount of tax revenue from trade into the state's coffers, he nevertheless was criticized for his casual reliance on migrant workers from Dragoc, who turned from migrants to settlers, from settlers to citizens of Froturn. Some of the more hot-headed and nationalistic/fundamentalist senators and nobles of the realm believed that Cael'mus's policies that allow an excessive amount of Wood Elves to settle in South-Eastern Froturn would end up diluting the land's Titanist faith and High Elven blood (ignoring the fact that Halflings have been living in Froturn for as long as the state itself existed, mainly concentrated in North-Eastern Froturn).

During the Cael'mus Proconsulate, the region's shift from a backwards agricultural region to a region of flourishing trade and handcraft began.

Reigning King of Froturn

On 3th of Eregamandil, 691 AEKE, King Vonayus of Froturn died, leaving Cael'mus to assume the throne. He spent his early years of his reign solidifying his power, which he started by behaving like the Senate and the nobility expected him to - he ruled "in agreement" with the Senate, working towards solutions and compromises to make sure that neither of the two would obstruct each other.

Despite this however, Cael'mus grew more and more tired of Froturn's extremely flawed form of government, began working on strengthening his personal royal authority at the expense of the Senate, the Church , the nobility, and the various local governments he used to represent. At the time, the majority of his disagreements with the Senate came from his policies on migration, or on finance - Cael'mus wanted to spend more money on industries, roads and education, while the Senate would have preferred to create a larger army and "a decent navy". Cael'mus also desired to reduce local autonomy, and have most provinces governed from Yanus.

By the 730's, he began exchanging more and more letters and gifts with Queen Cairi of Dragoc, although the two would not meet personally until much later. Having full awareness of the king's heavy fondness for everything Wood Elven, Cairi found her way into the heart of Cael'mus through gifts.

In the late 760's or early 770's, Wood Elvens from Dragoc became frequent visitors to cities of Froturn and even Druids begun to sparsely appear, thought to be looking for spreading their spiritualism among their High Elven kin. Rather than forcing them to return to Dragoc - or letting the Inquisition have their way with them - the King instead gave them protection. While this act of his did not cause outright outrage, it still definitely stirred up some controversy and made the majority of the King's subjects raise their eyebrows and question the King's piety.

From the 780's, a number of Wood Elves began making permanent appearances in the royal court of Froturn, much to the frustration of the native elite. Many of these were aforementioned druids, greatly alerting the local clergy. Among them would arrive Ta'ael Myrth'nddare, the niece of King Caelmus himself. Her appearance and sudden appointment in the royal court caused even more controversy than all of the King's previous actions together. Ta'ael represented everything the elite hated about the King - Wood Elven influence, tyranny, cronyism.

The heat the King was receiving was temporarily broken by nationwide celebrations invokved by the birth of his son Ivahó on 17th of Eregamandil, 803 AEKE. After 168 years of married life with Queen Frésa, the pair has finally produced a child. The celebrations were just a decoy though. Even though the nation had the capacity to swipe all the problems at hand under the rug just for a year to celebrate the birth of an heir, after that year of celebration passed, more and more problems came.

King Cael'mus began growing more and more paranoid about the possibility of a conspiracy against him, which contributed to further decline of his health. His worries eventually became a reality, when solid proof of people of position opposed to his rule meeting in secret was presented to him by the state intelligence.

By 809, it all came down.

Froturnish Civil War and death

Cael'mus's hair prematurely turned grey from a combination of stress and various sicknesses.

The Froturnish Civil War broke out in 6th of Urnulina, 809 AEKE. Politicians opposed to the King bundled together and retreated to parts of Froturn they firmly controleld to avoid being arrested by the loyalists. The height of the civil war was on 15th of Urnulina, 809 AEKE, during the Battle of Ancestors Field, when the Kingdom of Etrand interfered on behalf of the conspirators.

King Cael'mus did not live to see his side win the civil war. Seeing how his side was winning the Civil War decisively, on 5th of Naurnaara, 809 AEKE he suddenly started feeling better, and - disregarding the advices of his doctors - he made up his mind to attend the fifth anniversary of the Canonization of Selenna's Oracle. During the night, he drank a liberal amount of cider and joined the dancing masses. Several hours later, he fainted and never woke up - he died. The civil war would be eventually concluded in 20th of Naurnaara, 809 AEKE, 15 days after Cael'mus's death.

Aftermath

Just 15 days after Cael'mus's death, the Froturnish Civil War was won by his camp, spearheaded by Consul Sim'vara and Ta'ael Myrth'nddare. The two would assume power and rule in the stead of his underage son until 818.

Legacy

Consuls Sim'vara and Myrth'nddare made the late king's his unofficial "edicts" of religious tolerance into de jure laws, allowing Wood Elven druids to freely proselytize High Elves. Even though the law would be revoked de facto in 818 after they lost their power, de jure in 822, making the proselytization of Titanists illegal again, it was clear that the Church would never have the same amount of political power in Froturn as it did before the reign of Cael'mus.

While it is true that after 818, those who supported his policies lost political power, many of his reforms - the ones that increased royal authority at the expense of the Senate, the Church and the local nobility - survived the sudden political shift that took place after 818, and de jure, his successor King Ivahó is supposed to enjoy the same amount of royal authority that Cael'mus did - higher than that of his predecessors. De facto however, it is not known how much authority can the young Ivahó truly wield under the watchful influence of the clergy and the nobility.

Controversy

King Cael'mus is a very controversial and dividing figure in Froturnish history. Some see him as a liberal and enlightened ruler who fought for tolerance, for freedom of faith and freedom of speech, while others see him as a tyrant who wanted to turn Froturn into an absolute monarchy or despotic state. Colouring these debates is the religious element: Cael'mus was well known for his lack of piety, which is what made him so hated by the religious and conservative native elite.

While he did not openly renounce, let alone denounce the Titanist faith - as doing that would have resulted in his deposition - his interest in the Druidic faith was a widely known fact, and the fact that so many druids visited his court - not to mention, his act of appointing his naturalist niece - did anger the native titanist clergy. He was constantly accused of lack of piety, but no one dared to call him an outright apostate or infidel.

See also

List of Kings of Froturn