Archduchess Eleyna Velenosa
Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.
Description: While Eleyna is still considered fair and delicate in coloring, with her alabaster skin and pale golden hair, she seems more substantial now than the creature of fragile beauty that arrived to Arx years ago in the wake of her aunt's death. Perhaps it is the curviness of her figure granted by the birth of her children or perhaps the gravity of her new position, but the Archduchess exudes presence whenever she walks into a room, with every half-smirk she grants or lift of her exquisitely shaped brows.
Personality: While few would consider Eleyna an especially kind woman, she is a generous one in her effort to live up to the ideal that the Velenosa do not merely punish those that have harmed them but reward those who are loyal. As one might expect for a woman that started life as just another disposable cousin and worked her way to Grand Duchess of the Lyceum, Eleyna is focused and intelligent, determined to unite the Lyceum in an unstable age. Yet, those that fall under the banner of friends and loved ones see the warmth and humor beneath the ice and ruthless ambition.
Background: Eleyna Velenosa started her life as just another Princess in a very large family, destined to be offered in marriage to create treaties between the House of her birth and its chosen allies. With no living mother and a mostly disinterested father, she was at the mercy of her ambitious aunt. Three times, she served in such a role. Three times, it ended in tragedy. Even the most spotless reputation cannot withstand the rumors that accompany three dead husbands.
In the Lyceum, they called her the Black Widow of Lenosia. They sought to shame her for the tragedies that befell her.
Eleyna took an insult meant to humiliate her and turned it into something to fear. If they wanted her to be a spider, she would be a spider. It was the spider's machinations that brought her to Arx in the wake of the King's Rest. That same spider built webs to climb from disgraced Princess to valued Voice and, eventually, all the way to the Grand Duchess' throne.
It's amazing how power seems to wash away the sins of past. So, while the sharp mind and ambitious nature remain, the Black Widow is no more now that Eleyna has both remarried and ascended to the pinnacle of power within her House and within the Lyceum. Lenosia is the City of Flowers, so it makes sense that Eleyna would be the White Lily, the palest of blooms but also the one symbolizing rebirth for her and her people.
|Alaric||Deliberate but not risk-averse, composed but not without fire, Eleyna seems above all else to be the sort that finds a way to do what needs to be done.|
|Alarissa||A dear friend that I would never have thought would be such. Much of our life mirrors one another. She only poisons the ones she loves or calls friend and thus I know myself to be called friend.|
|Aleksei||When I first met her, she seemed like a bit of an ice queen, but I'm very charming, so she shared her wine with me. She definitely likes me despite herself.|
|Apollis||I do not know the Archduchess incredibly well, but each time I have been in her presence I have been impressed with her graciousness and generosity. A good leader is strong and a great leader makes others strong.|
|Arianna||The Archduchess seems a very cautious person but somehow also carries this flame of liberation that burns bright within her. It's inspiring and awe inducing simultaneously. So very much like a poisoned rose in her equal parts beauty and fabled lethality.|
|Astraea||She's got so much presence. It can be overwhelming, nerve-wracking even because I've never had the charms and wit that my peers do. I really like her smile and how genuine she seems, there's a certain...jaded sense of wisdom. Like she's been there done that, in far prettier words than I'd like. Her cousin was so nice to me and I can see the family resemblance.|
|Avaline||The Archduchess of the Lyceum looks every bit the role, and wears it as if she were born to wield it. She's somebody that I know that I could follow into the depths of any conflict, and trust to emerge on the other side.|
|Cadenza||It has been a long time since I was around family. I am so honored to call her my Archduchess, my cousin and in some ways....my protector now that I am in Arx.|
|Calista||The first time I met Eleyna, she was speaking with Blacktongue and there was just this cool, confident, intimidating way about her. I was immediately impressed by her. She is beautiful and deadly, in the best possible way. Truly there is no other woman who can tame Talen the way she has and I cannot wait to see her flourish in the Lyceum gardens.|
|Cambria||Everything I expect of a Velenosa princess. Meeting her was no disappointment, and I greatly look forward to our budding future friendship.|
|Courage||Unparalleled generosity and beauty! You can't even tell she's a mother thrice over, oh no. Not a gray hair on her head. Not that it'd be easy to tell considering the color of her hair, but that is a very tiny detail unworthy of this unreasonably long explanation. The Lyceum is truly blessed by the Gods to have such a fantastic Archduchess. I like her even more than Esera, you know.|
|Donaldo||The Archduchess has been generous to me, offering a room in the family estate even though I have been running wild for so long. I think she even liked my Mutawah robe, I may have to wear it more often!|
|Duarte||Confident without conceit and endlessly sagacious. I don't believe anything can truly shake her.|
|Ferrando||I like to think her fearsome reputation is largely driven by general jealousy by the fact that she's always right. Especially when the other party is Talen.|
|Grazia||My aunt is truly a brilliant mind and a witty leader. I trust in her command and her ability to assess any situation. She will do right by the Lyceum, and I will continue to support her.|
|Hana||A sharp mind, full of curiosity -- and determination, even moreso. Maybe a kindred spirit, though I suspect her interests cover a far more broad range than mine do.|
|Isolde||My pretty and poisonous cousin. I'm a bit worried about her.|
|Jaenelle||A woman who came to Arx with a steady demeanor, which only became more apparent over time and with each added responsibility. She has earned my trust and unwavering loyalty as my Archduchess and my unyielding support and gratitude as my friend. Thank you for making Ettore and I sit together during that open court meeting, my life will never be the same.|
|Joscelin||They call her the Ice Princess, the Princess of Darkness, and I can see why. Not, of course, in the foul way many probably mean it, the snide comments of guarded nobles. No, she is cool like the glittering edge of honed crystal, carved diamond meant to sparkle with even the smallest bit of light. And everyone knows that the shadows hide secrets in their darkness; when is such a thing bad? Cool and collected, she doesn't skirt around with false praise. When she gives it, she means it, as sharp and as icy as an icicle blade. While others may shy away, I find her cool silence a balm when so many would just spout hot air.|
|Katarina||I\u2019ve never actually had the opportunity to speak with the Grand Duchess more than a few times. My most memorable moment of her was back during my brother\u2019s wedding, where she saved one of our own from death by some terrible poison. She\u2019s a bastion of strength and is to be admired for that.|
|Laric||Cool grace and a steady hand. If only every head of House were cut from similar cloth.|
|Leola||My duchess. My liege's liege's liege. Grand in all senses of the word, and a true lover of spiders. I can't fault her that|
|Lys||For all she's supposed to be an ice princess she's very welcoming, yet I can tell there's steel in in there.|
|Magpie||First met at a birthday party and then again later for more conversation, Magpie finds he very much likes the Archduchess of the Lyceum. She's clever, funny, and to the point. Talking around in circles wastes everyone's time and this woman doesn't seem like the type that wastes time unless she wants to.|
|Margerie||Her Grace was at the tournament with her husband. Listening to bits and pieces of it, I remembered all the times I had to pinch my nose and hope Harlow wasn't about to cause Trouble that would require cleaning up. Even if her husband does enjoy corrupting all that 'good Oathlands lumber', I think it might be interesting to share a bottle of something and catch up with the Archduchess at some point.|
|Mira||My cousin's wife, the Archduchess. It still feels really weird to say that. Not as terrifying in person, when there is no crowd present.|
|Mirari||Princess Eleyna is icy perfection. Always.|
|Mirari||I could say a lot of things about the Archduchess, but it all boils down to one thing. Loyalty is very important, and she has mine.|
|Norwood||She has an air of command about her, but I am unsure of the threat to cut out the shav's tongues...|
|Orathy||She be a sucker who fell for a commoner and helped muddle the lines between commoner and noble. Reckon that ain't a bad thing, not for those of us with commoner blood. At first I reckon her husband be doing all the talking but eh, she has some good ideas, something about shipping and blah blah. She has nice eyes.|
|Orazio||Orazio met Eleyna for the first time when she was furious at her topless sister, and to be honest, he's been enchanted from the start. Passionate, elegant, playful, but so sharp she can cut with a look, nevermind a word. Someone to have on your side, if you can, and to stay out of the way of if you can't.|
|Petal||The Princess is quite lovely and she has a soft look with the blonde hair and the pale skin, but there is steel and intelligence about her. I thought I would be protecting her to encourage her to drop me with all the stuff going down, but she was more than up for the task. I made the right choice for sure. She is lovely and strong. A powerful and rare combination.|
|Quenia||The Archduchess reached out to be first in the white journals, commenting on some worry that I had. I have come to realize what she meant, more recently, and perhaps find a bit of more comfort in her words than I did previously. I aim to not worry so much. And, I am glad to have gotten to know a bit more about her since her words responding to my journal. She's fierce and protective of her people; both are good strengths to have.|
|Reese||Luca's cousin and so she is my cousin in law! She is quite lovely and rather mysterious too. She had kind words for me about Luca's and my marriage and at a time when at least one person her household was pretty unhappy about it. They came at a time and were really encouraging. They were a moment of kindness that I will remember. She is intelligent, lively and just had a baby! I should have sent congrats over.|
|Saoirse||Saoirse's cousin is chilly - and sharp. Saoirse can't quite tell if she made any kind of impression at all.|
|Sebastian||Watching the interaction between the Archduchess and the Prince was entertaining, and I am curious about alchemy as a skill. Perhaps there is more to be learned.|
|Serafine||My sister, my partner in crime. My liege, the only one who understands what it is we were raised to be. My stalwart champion. I will trust her to the very end.|
|Talen||Eleyna and Talen are husband and wife and though they grew up amongst each other, he was far too involved in staring at Esera to ever really notice the woman who would then become the Black Widow. Of course, when they grew closer in Arx after the King's Rest, it became a natural partnership.|
|Tallius||That has to be a tempestuous marriage, but one things for certain, the Princess doesn't seem likely to take anything off of anyone!|
|Theron||The Archduchess of Velenosa is beautiful, and twice or thrice Widowed -- and for all that, she shows a certain tendency towards being debonair, and gentle, and pleasant. One must never mistake the velvet for the iron hand that might lie beneath, but she is nevertheless an amazing hostess and I look forward to seeing more of her rule.|
|Torian||Ready and willing to sacrifice a little to help the people under her. That's a good example of leadership right there.|
|Vanora||I believe I've met her once or twice at services in the Shrine of the Thirteenth, but not spoken with her directly before now. Most especially directly about politics. Something to ponder.|
|Victus||She has the beauty of the Lycene flowers and I'm certain that underneath, she's got the fangs of a viper. No pun intended on the husband's account. The two of them make a power-pair if ever there was one. Woe to the one who desires them harm, they'll go through hell.|