Priest-Kings and God-Emperors

Those of you who have already read Scales over Sangrithar, a trilogy of The Tale describing the last days of the Sangritharian Empire, have already had a chance to get acclimated to the bewildering array of titles thrown at the Lord of the Pearl Throne.

There is a method to the madness, please let me explain the logic behind it.

In the beginning, Sangrithar had a Queen and a Priestess – Averanda and Gwynna, the daughters of Thar and Raena.  Together, they ruled Sangrithar, presiding over church and state, and their children and grandchildren succeeded them.

Nearly five centuries after Thar and Raena ascended, the girls’ grandchildren held the offices of Queen (Avara) and Priest (Dynrael).   Korak a barbarian warlord from Angrakor, killed Avara, giving rise to Emerre’s guilt and creating a vacancy on the Pearl Throne.  By popular mandate, Dynrael assumed the role of King with the death of his cousin.  Since he was already Sangrithar’s Priest and was now King too, his title changed to Priest-King.

That title stuck for Dynrael and his descendants and, regardless of the currrent ruler’s gender, the Lord of the Pearl throne was thereafter referred to as the Priest-King.  According to the rules of grammar and political correctness, it should have been Priestess-Queen when a woman held the throne, but that didn’t roll off the tongue as easily.

Thirty one hundred years after Dynrael became Priest-King, the Shadow Lord invaded the capitol in what came to be known as the War of Shadows.  When Gwynndyl the Priest-King (she was one of those that could  have been named Priestess-Queen) was slain, the future of Sangrithar looked grim indeed until Ataryl came down from Pel Aesylle and defeated the Shadow Lord’s host.   Even Ataryl’s sudden appearance almost wasn’t enough to save Sangrithar.  Had Maelryn not stepped in front of the shadow bolt meant to kill Ataryl, Sangrithar might have come to an end right then.

Ataryl’s mother was Gwynndyl, who had been sent to Pel Aesylle when she was young to receive Kandol’s training in accordance with the ancient bargain made between the Elf Lord and Thar and Raena.  While there, she fell in love with Arlyn, the long lost descendant of Ardyval, Queen Avara’s son who had been lost and presumed dead during the war with Korak.  Unknown to all, the Sword’s keeper rescued the infant Ardyval and took him to Pel Aesylle for Kandol to raise.   Arlyn was the last in a long line descended from Ardyval.

As the son of Gwynndyl and Ardyval, Ataryl and reunited the two ancient houses descending from Thar and Raena.   When he took the throne, he decided upon a new title to go with his fancy new digs.  By bringing the bloodlines together, Ataryl was greater than those who had sat upon the Pearl Throne before him.  His power proved it, the god-fire burned bright in him, giving him authority to adopt such a pretentious title.  Just as a god was more than a priest, and an emperor was more than a king, so was a God-Emperor more than a Priest-King.

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