We’ve given the good guys their due; now it’s time for the more villainous. Since Ferdinand II was the last historical figure discussed, it stands to reason that I’ve based a character on him. Of course, its a given that whatever Kendryk does, he’s eventually going to run afoul of the powers that be.Teodora Inferrara presides over a vast, but shaky empire. It’s been at war with a huge eastern neighbor for nearly a hundred years, and is based on a feudal system that isn’t conducive to centralized power, which she would dearly love. A niece of the late Emperor, her succession was not a given. It doesn’t help that Teodora’s uncle died suddenly, and some would say, under suspicious circumstances. She was in a convenient location to take power when it happened, shutting out a cousin who had an equally legitimate claim. Naturally, he will be a thorn in her side. One of many, as it turns out.
Though not a nice person, Teodora isn’t completely evil. Or maybe she’s not really evil at all. She’s realistic about the Empire’s weakened state, and knows that it will take an extremely competent and resolute ruler to restore it to its former glory. She’s quite capable and objectively speaking, probably is the best person for the job. Her biggest problem is that she is completely devoid of diplomatic skills. She makes one enemy after another when she really can’t afford to have so many. She’s also hot-headed and ruthless, which is a bad combination for those who cross her.
Unsurprisingly, she has almost no friends. The rest of her family hates and fears her, her husband stays out of her way and her children are completely intimidated. She is however, very close to her spiritual adviser and while not particularly devout, believes that religion is an important tool in wielding power. Her adviser, a powerful person in her own right, is the only person Teodora confides in and listens to on a regular basis.
As a young woman, she performed military service, and during that time, she met Daciana Tomescu, who’s acquired a fearsome reputation as a guerilla fighter on the eastern frontier. She and Teodora are as close as two bloodthirsty damsels can be, but they seldom get to share a giggle over a glass of wine because Daciana is off marauding while Teodora must govern. She’s really terribly lonely and has accepted that as the sacrifice she must make in order to rule effectively.
At the time our story begins, Teodora has been Empress for less than a year and is having a bit of trouble consolidating her rule. Rebellions are sprouting up everywhere, and her resources are spread very thin. So, it’s really an ideal time for Kendryk to make trouble. Or is it?