Even though some of my female characters are in the process of being relegated to second-banana, at least in terms of point of view, there are still some pretty important girls in this story. Kendryk might be the big mover and shaker, but without his wife, he might never have done anything very exciting.As you might have guessed based on previous posts, Gwynneth Roussay is also based on a real person: Elizabeth Stuart, Queen of Bohemia. Like Elizabeth, Gwynneth is pretty impressive in her own right. The second child of King Andres Roussay of Norovaea, Gwynneth is second in line for the throne and is groomed to rule from the moment she’s born. She receives a top-notch formal education and shines at politics and philosophy.
Charming and extroverted, she’s got a natural politician’s personality, and soaks up everything she observes at her father’s court. It’s no secret that many think she’d make a better king than her older brother Gwynneth of course, thinks so too, but she’d never say it.
From an early age, she’s extremely good at getting her way. As she gets older, some consider her manipulative, but she’s always so nice that it’s hard to hold it against her. In the end, those who give in to her end up feeling flattered by the attention more than anything else.
By the time she’s sixteen, she’s had a lot of practice dealing with lovelorn young men and jealous girls. When a steady stream of royal suitors appear at her father’s court, she knows just how to handle them. The unsuitable- that is, anyone who isn’t a king, or a potential king- are sent on their way feeling sad or even heartbroken, but never offended. She knows better than to upset potential future allies, wherever she ends up.
Her parents are anxious to marry her to the young and powerful king of Estenor, who finds her charming, but is just old and wise enough to realize that she’ll be difficult for him to manage. While he’s wondering if she’s worth it, Kendryk Bernotas of Terragand arrives. Finally ruling in his own right, the young prince is anxious to assure his line of succession. He’s very willing to make a marriage of convenience, but he’s as smitten with Gwynneth as everyone else is. What’s different this time is that she’s just as taken with him.
The King and Queen like Kendryk, but don’t consider him quite good enough. Gwynneth thinks he has huge potential, though, in addition to being all kinds of adorable. He might not be a king, but he’s the sole ruler of the largest state in Kronland, and is related to every monarch on the continent. Norovaea has long felt that Kronland needs to break away from the ancient, crumbling Inferrara Empire, and Gwynneth sees Kendryk as the perfect leader in any future revolution, peaceful or otherwise. In addition, if something happened to her older brother and she found herself Queen of Norovaea someday, Terragand would be an excellent addition to help round out domination of the northern part of the continent.
It doesn’t take Gwynneth very long to get her parents to see things her way, and she and Kendryk are soon married. Her first task is to provide him with heirs, and she promptly gives him three- a girl and two boys. Things are great for them, but she’s always keeping an eye out for an opportunity to improve Terragand- and Kendryk’s- position. That opportunity will appear very soon.