The Archduchess

Now that Maelonbourg and Oublier have been united as one state under the somewhat ponderous title of the Archduchy of Maelonbourg and the Wenigzustand there have been a number of changes in the western portion of the little states. Not least of these is the first lady of the realm, Archduchess Shar Lersha von Slothjem-Kovak. Formerly known as the youngest daughter of Queen Reichsha, Empress of the Slothjemian Empire, Lersha was as enigmatic as she was strong-willed and aloof. It was in the immediate aftermath of her wedding to Baron Alexander “Xan” Kovak that the young princess was hurtled into the role of Archduchess and in a sense she became something of a queen in her own right. She had been content with taking over the day-to-day operations of the orphanage in Resurrection prior to this advancement.

Now the Archduchess has a realm to serve and not just as the caretaker for children who had lost their parents. However it is this duty that she takes the most interest in even now. The number of children that require care in the orphanage has risen dramatically with the influx of people from other lands seeking new lives in the new Archduchy. But Lersha continues to lead them about in activities in and around Resurrection and teaching them the many things that Lersha believes they must know in order to succeed in life.

Lersha has become quite the fixture of life in Resurrection. Her long black hair is sometimes braided, sometimes left flowing naturally, and sometimes set up in the style common throughout neighboring Fanolania. Her clothes are remarkably clean and crisp in appearance, perhaps supernaturally so, and are of the finest materials and brightest colors. Some in Resurrection speculate that this is a holdover from the exotic practices of Slothjemia, but as none of them have ever been there that is a matter of guesswork. She also has a penchant for wearing wreaths of wildflowers in her hair that are woven together by the orphans. She often hums and the children, following like ducklings after their mother, will pick up the tune. Nothing that Lersha does seems to indicate haste or impatience and the people of Resurrection cannot help but smile at the mere sight of her. Although her eyes are still unsettling to most, being uniformly black throughout with no whiteness or other colors to take away from their haunting appearance, it is her smile and her heavy accent that disarms those interacting with her.

Not everyone has had pleasant dealings with the Archduchess, however. There are those in Resurrection that have tried to get to know her somewhat better but the Archduchess remains aloof to those that she has no immediate desire to know more closely than she already does. One of those that have tried repeatedly to get on the better side of the Archduchess is the town herbalist, Gilla. It is no secret that Gilla has always been drawn towards those that know something of sorcery and spellcraft. She set up a fine working relationship with the most powerful mage in town, Zedd, and has recently befriended the enchantress Katrine. It has been rumored that Lersha is familiar with magic as well so naturally Gilla attempted to befriend her as well. After finally getting the Archduchess to accept an invitation to pay a visit to the herbalist’s shop Gilla made the place as welcoming as she could. When the Archduchess arrived, Gilla greeted her warmly and bid her to enter. After her guest looked around the shop a little, Gilla asked the Archduchess if she found the place pleasing.

“It is about what I expected.” replied the Archduchess simply in her heavy Slothjemian accent.

Gilla beamed with joy and said, “I knew you’d like it.”

To which Lersha smiled at Gilla and said, “That’s not what I said, darling.”

Witnesses found the exchange delightful to an extreme. Gilla has not given up trying to win over the Archduchess, but for the time being she is content to exist outside of Lersha’s circle of influence. And it would seem that circle mainly consists of the orphans that follow her about as she struts through town with nary a care in the world.