The banner of House Lysenia dates its origins back to the end of the Shadow Era, when Lady Lysenia's children adopted her name as their family title, at the moving suggestion of an Ailyrenain emissary who respectfully attended their mother's funeral. The emissary's suggestion was at the behest of Phoenix King, Rainier the Reborn, who saw House Lysenia's birth as instrumental to show his recovering kingdom's support in maintaining a strong alliance with the realms of mankind in the west. As such, House Lysenia was much like an early diplomatic bridge for the two sentient races.
Though many nelri were at first appalled by the notion of a human family in control of a province in their eastern lands, few forgot the great deeds of Lady Lysenia, or that of her unforgettable guardian and future husband, Renvar Shadowsbane. It was Lysenia who, in her youth, did not abandon the nelri in an age when humankind had long resented them for the acts of their former Phoenix King, Meiliketh the Mad. After the Mad King's demise, war crimes exploded across Ailyrenai as human soldiers loyal to the Gaelferan Empire seized control, raping and pillaging with bitter, restless hearts. There were few instances of mercy from their battle-hardened armies as nelri civilians became accustomed to violent acts and public humiliation, knowing it was their fate to bear.
That was until worse things arose amidst the chaos, twisted and evil. Lysenia was caught up in the middle of it as she accompanied her first husband, once a pious Gaelferan noble, who was at the time leading a small army further into the heart of the nelri kingdom as aid to a much larger war host making its way towards claiming Ailyrenai's capital, Aelorethar. A prize they would fail to reach.
Lysenia was spared from the awakened thirsts of shadowy beasts that slew her husband and two thirds of his men before they were slain themselves. It was Renvar, once a nameless soldier loyal to Lysenia's husband, who took charge of the survivors and obeyed his lord's dying wish to take his wife and the rest of their men back across the River Tear to escape what were impossible risks. The return was treacherous as they witnessed firsthand the true fall of the nelri kingdom at the hands of creatures spawned from darkness itself. There was nary a life in the east not affected by them and in desperation no human refused the aid of their former enemies, the nelri, who fought side by side with them as they struggled to survive in lands no longer safe for anyone or anything.
Lysenia's heart went out to the many innocent lost to it. As they made their way closer to the Tear, she began questioning her worth, her reasons to live, before a day moved her to speak with a man she knew shared similar feelings to her. In the end she begged him not to abandon the nelri in their direst hour for sake of only her health. She wanted to stay and do all they could to help.
Renvar honoured her wish, and the rest is history.
It was thanks to him, Lysenia and the last of her able-bodied soldiers under their command that some semblance of order remained in the east and stood as a beacon of hope for those trying to escape the chaos. It was at an abandoned nelri temple citadel on the edge of the Yaeauri Wilds that they made their home and within mere months the occupied citadel then known as the Forthright was one of the last remaining strongholds in the east that stood defiant with the aid of thankful refugees who vowed to stay there and help Lysenia's cause. Few places were as welcoming to wary travellers as it slowly became the heart of a city that formed new walls around it and expanded its influence to the point that new villages were appointed with the guidance of Lysenia and Renvar, who became an inseparable married couple and, with the historic birth of the Shadowsbane Order there as well, there was no arguing that Lysenia was perhaps one of the most remarkable women of her time. Yet her deeds were still overshadowed by Renvar himself, who became a great hero and, with the aid of his inspired shadowsbane brethren, helped return Eastern Elshanae to the nelri.
Centuries have passed since then and, while much has changed, House Lysenia still holds lordship over the fertile province of Mynes, which shares its borders with the provinces of Ky, Euris and Tihr. Mynes' capital is Suno, which once housed the unofficial headquarters of the Shadowsbane Order, before it was relocated in secret to the Savares Kingdom. It still remains a holy site to its followers, however, and according to some historians most, if not all, end up visiting it once in their lives to travel to the heart of the city where the Forthright Citadel still exists towering above the cityscape.
While there are several family lines who can trace back their lineage to Lysenia and Renvar's blood, only one lord is ever appointed to reign over Mynes Province and call The Forthright their home, while their younger siblings usually inherit some form of wealth but no entitlement to land, unless they acquire it through other legal means. This has lead to the province establishing a monarchy of sorts and to this end a High Lord, according to tradition, can attain the rights of a prince if they marry into a king's ruling family. Such are the politics surrounding the surviving bloodlines of Lysenia and Renvar as their ancestral parents, and it is known that Lysenia herself was a princess from the northlands as a descendant of Raleigh King Rurik the Maker. So to say that House Lysenia's nobility is enriched by a strong bloodline since before its conception could be deemed an understatement. Admittedly, some even feel it holds more right to certain thrones than their current rulers...
Whether this is the reason why the noble houses of Raleigh and Lysenia have been close allies for the last three hundred years is another thing, although there are rumours that their friendship has strained over the years. It began after the disappearance of High Lord Ragnar Raleigh and most of his family's military strength in the Forbidden North on some doomed, secret expeditionary crusade. It is one of the reasons Klaus has kept an eye on the north with his secret web of spies. But even then there is only so much a spy can learn without disturbing the dens of wolves...
I've never really drawn a house emblem before... That said, though, it might be a safe bet to expect to see Klaus and Shae drawn again soonish... (Like maybe for my next work!)
Hope you enjoyed the lore, btw. Took me at least a day to work it out from my mind. Kinda got stuck on names, but I guess it did force me to flesh out my world more. Artwork // Klaus, Shaelyn, Lore, Etc - © Kristopher P. Love