Wedding Hells: Randor and Alicia

10 Sep

A couple of people asked about this, so I thought I’d address it in a post.

The problem facing Alicia is that she wasn’t ‘confirmed’ by the time her father and brothers were beheaded, as punishment for their role in the failed coup against King Randor (Lessons in Etiquette). A confirmation ceremony marks a parental acknowledgement that a child has become an adult and confirms their place in the line of succession. It also grants certain rights, such as the right to refuse a marriage, which tends to ensure that parents are reluctant to confirm their younger (and female) children before they’re married off or otherwise put in place to support the family, specifically the one who will succeed his father as patriarch.

Alassa’s ceremony in Lessons was important because it ensures that she can take the throne at once, after her father dies. Without it, her uncle would rule as regent – and, because she was a princess, he’d have plenty of opportunity to organise matters to suit himself before he finally stepped aside. (You can see why the plotters wanted to strike before the ceremony, as they already had the Duke of Iron under their control.)

What this meant, in practical terms, was that Alicia, the sole survivor of her family, was legally a minor child (at 24!) when her father and brother died.

Randor’s solution to this problem was to take Alicia as his ward, install her as a ‘guest’ within his castle and appoint agents to run the Barony until he saw fit to allow her to return. This gave him great power over her, up to and including arranging her marriage to suit himself. The prospect of Alicia’s hand in marriage was enough to keep a number of minor nobles dancing on his strings for a couple of years. Indeed, Alicia was far more helpless than Alassa. She wouldn’t be inheriting the throne, nor did she have any powerful friends. Alicia was never courted for her support because all the power rested in Randor’s hands.

Randor, who had grown increasingly paranoid and sadistic since his betrayal and near-death in Lessons, eventually seduced Alicia himself. This was not a healthy relationship. The part of him that wanted to make his enemies suffer loved watching Alicia make the decision to degrade herself, in the hopes that he would eventually give her back her birthright. Randor assumed, with very good reason, that there would be no long-term consequences. He had plenty of time to choose Alicia’s husband, organise the Barony to ensure Alicia’s hands would be tied and generally keep his dominant position within the kingdom.

At this point, two months prior to the opening of Wedding Hells, Alicia realised she was pregnant. And Randor was the father.

Randor had assumed, based on the simple fact that he’d only sired one child (legitimate or otherwise), that Alicia wouldn’t get pregnant. He certainly didn’t bother to take any precautions! Indeed, he was only vaguely aware of the pregnancy – he didn’t believe the signs the maids noticed – until the truth accidentally came out, plunging him into a dangerous crisis.

He wanted a son, wanted one very much. It wouldn’t be hard to fiddle the politics so Alicia became his wife, giving her unborn child legitimacy. But this ran the risk of a clash with his daughter. Alassa, a confirmed Crown Princess, was a formidable magician in her own right, engaged to a fully-trained combat sorcerer, best friends with the most terrifying person on the Nameless World … and very well-placed to serve as the focus for all the anti-Randor feeling that had re-emerged since the failed coup. The prospect of a male child palled compared to the danger of a civil war he might well lose, one that would plunge the kingdom into chaos.

And even if he won, even if he managed to give the unborn child some semblance of legitimacy, it would be at least sixteen years before the child could take the throne. A lot could happen in sixteen years. There was a very strong possibility that someone would bump him off in the intervening years.

At this point, Randor folded his cards and arranged a reasonably decent match for Alicia.

He had good reason to be mad at Emily for forcing his hand. The prospect of a civil war forced him to cut all ties with the unborn child; ensuring that Alicia’s husband would accept the child meant that he wouldn’t have complete control over the Barony or Alicia after her match. Randor had no strong feelings for Alicia, but it galled him to let her go in a manner he didn’t choose. It hardened his determination to bring Emily firmly under his control, which led to ultimate disaster in Wedding Hells.

Obviously, this situation will cast a long shadow over the future of Zangaria.

Historically, this has happened more than once. Henry II, the first true Plantagenet King, was reputed to have seduced his son’s intended bride, who was living with him at the time. This was, of course, more unlucky for the girl than her seducer (although she did have a happy ending of sorts, well away from the Demon’s Brood.)

37 Responses to “Wedding Hells: Randor and Alicia”

  1. G September 10, 2016 at 10:45 pm #

    Wedding Hells left the Barony and people of Cockatrice in political no-man’s land–as far as they know, their Baroness has been exiled, they have a regent dependent for her position on the good will of the King (whom they distrust)–there are a lot of talented magicians and proto-industrialists with significant wealth living there alongside refugees who fled there–will we see what is happening there at some point? It should be interesting…

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard September 10, 2016 at 11:14 pm #

      But in “their favor”, the regent is the friend of the Crown Princess and the Crown Princess will support the regent against the King. 😉

      • G September 10, 2016 at 11:28 pm #

        Will the average person on the street in Cockatrice know this? With Civil war breaking out in the kingdom, will they care??

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard September 10, 2016 at 11:39 pm #

        The Servants would know and their Gossip would reach the servants of the merchants (and the merchants) and so on.

        Of course, the gossip would also info them that the new regent is a close friend of their Baroness.

        And yes, they’ll care that the Regent is a person who will protect them from the Chaos.

      • chrishanger September 15, 2016 at 3:49 pm #

        Probably not .

        They don’t have tabloids yet.


      • Don Yu September 11, 2016 at 4:41 am #

        But at the end if King feels threatened and have a way to remove that threat then he will take it. There is examples of off springs and parents killing each other for power in history. Also people who are paranoid and sadistic increase in time not able to control it or even reduce it.

        How would the Crown Princess be able to protect the regent if King and all the barons form a solid block attacking said regent. You have to remember other barons don’t like Emily and what she did in Cockatrice. They see it as direct attack on their power. From my impression is that the remaining barons are born to rule who don’t care about others below their level in their political power. There are anti-Emily magicians who would support the king in that action or even just for money.

        Alice may feel that she will have to take steps to remove Alassa to protect herself and her child and Alassa will also feel that she has to kill the child to protect herself.

        Alassa don’t have strong power block other then she been a crown princess and support of Emily. The commons is not a power block at the moment because of the failed rebellion. Emily would be only one who can have enough power through economic (wealthy population and amount of money in the treasury), military (modern form of weapons and tactics) and magical (nuke spells to access the more powerful nexus) to give Alassa that power block but if she has direct control as baron of Cockatrice.

        Emily has magical support for Alassa but military no since I would think that all gun and cannon production will be closely monitored at a minimum with take over of factories by the crown real possibility. Emily does not have direct control of the Cockatrice treasury so her ability to influence events in the Kingdom reduced and further Cockatrice’s economic growth. There are all ways need to support and/or protect people from extremes of capitalism also economic policies need changing at need through tax, regulations, investment in infrastructure and direct grants either in R & D or companies.

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard September 11, 2016 at 1:18 pm #

        As Chris mentioned, Alassa is a magician in her own right and is married to a more powerful combat sorcerer.

        That gives her a strong power base right there and they are living in the Royal Palace.

        Who are the Palace Guards going to support?

        A King who is acting insane or his only (known) heir?

        As for the Barons, they may not like Alassa but may hate her father.

        Of course, the Barons might not be a united force.

        The King may be insane but as we saw when he backed down on Alicia’s child, he’s not going to risk pushing Alassa into rebellion over Emily’s Baronage.

      • G September 11, 2016 at 8:14 pm #

        Don Yu makes an interesting point–much as the nobles don’t like King Randor, they hate and despise the reforms in Cockatrice which threaten their power and will likely move to eliminate them–and possibly Imaquah and Alassa–while the King is distracted by the civil war…

        Without Emily, all Alassa has are her own powers and those of her husband, Jade, which, while powerful, are not unique–King Randor himself probably has a dozen combat sorcerers working for him, as well as control of the military, bureacracy, royal treasury, and the ability to reward loyal followers with tittles and lands–and while not common, there are plenty of combat sorcerers and powerful sorcerers outside Zangaria also opposed to Emily’s reforms.

        Emily’s backing as Baroness of Cockatrice (with the nuke spell and rapidly increasing extraordinary power–which she’s going to need to survive) is what ultimately protected Alassa and the reforms in Cockatrice–and she’s not able to do much now that she’s left the Kingdom–Jade’s and Alassa’s powers alone won’t be enough…

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard September 11, 2016 at 9:02 pm #

        I doubt that Randor could bring in enough combat sorcerers to “negate” Jade without “tipping” off Alassa & Jade.

        You “say” that Randor already has them but there’s no evidence that he does especially since he could have “used” them to assist Jade with the Palace defenses prior to Alassa & Jade’s marriage.

        Of course, as I mentioned before, Alassa is the only officially known heir of King Randor.

        Considering the “bad blood” between Alassa and her father, I suspect that she is working to gain support among the lesser nobles and the more power commoners.

        I doubt that she’d “strike first” against her father, but I also suspect that he isn’t going to give her reasons to “strike first”.

        Of course, you’re assuming that the Barons will support King Randor but I’m not sure that all of them would.

        I suspect that the Barons as a group wouldn’t want to “get involved” in a fight between Randor and Alassa.

        Now, if they could arrange for both Randor and Alassa to die…. 😉

      • G September 11, 2016 at 10:38 pm #

        The weak point is cockatrice and imaquah–lots of people don’t want the reforms in cockatrice to succeed–cockatrice would also be a rich conquest for another king while rancor is trying to put down a rebellion…

    • chrishanger September 15, 2016 at 3:48 pm #

      Don’t worry. This will be explored further on.


  2. Don Yu September 12, 2016 at 3:47 am #

    I would think that barons know they own interests are and with example of rebellion from empowered commoners attacking directly against the King and themselves in the capital with one of their own killed and the land under control of the rebels. Even stupid baron understands that Cockatrice is where all those ideas that all men are created equal coming from. Even encouraged there and allow commoners their self-respect.

    Cockatrice is still major place where printing press producing book and newspapers with rebellious material is also produced. Lot of their population would also be moving there so their power base is also attacked economically as well.

    King can also encourage forming of attack by saying that he will divide money from the Cockatrice treasury and population.

    Also barons will be less inclined to protect a regent then a baron since any action would not set a precedent that King can use later against them.

    So with Emily there in power of Cockatrice then as Christopher saying about the calculation that King Randor did is true but since Emily is not there then many parts of that calculation is no longer true. So more unstable Randor can be able to reward nobles and barons to form the power block against Cockatrice and if Alassa get in the way then so be it especially if prince is born by Alice. The nameless world is still “man’s world” so baron and other nobles will prefer a prince then princess. Alassa is still under King Randor’s power because of the bloodline.

    There are lot of sorcerers in the world so they can be cancel each other out. If it gets out of hand then white council then have to step in so no long term bad feelings between the magicians and non-magic people as that will let the necromancer take over the world.

  3. William Ameling September 12, 2016 at 5:17 am #

    We also have the Magician who is Nanette’s new Master and who I think was also in book 2 who seems to be very interested in the Kingdom and wants to control things and was probably behind Alassa’s initially bad training and skills in magic, see books 1 and 2. I do not think, like some do, that he is Void. He is more likely the bad sorceror in book 1 who helped Shadye get Emily’s blood sample; he might even have some of that blood sample still left over. I would not be surprised to see him and Nanette soon, perhaps in Fists of Justice (book 12) which might very well involve Emily again in Cockatrice and the Kingdom, as well as Caleb’s Home city next door (possible friction/trouble with Caleb and/or his parents(or their House) plus Emily)(as well as Markus and Melissa and their new Bank and home),(also see Demon futures for Emily in book 5 involving Imaquah)

    • MAD-ness September 12, 2016 at 8:17 am #

      The idiot dark mage that Emily blinded with a light spell in the first book would have be the asbolute best actor in history to be as powerful and clever as the mystery sorcerer clearly is based upon what is known about him from his time in Dragon’s Den

      • MAD-ness September 12, 2016 at 8:19 am #

        That was a horrible sentence. 🙂

        The penny ante dark sorcerer who helped Shadye was, to all appearances, a minor player. He didn’t appear to be capable of the greater power plays that the ‘mystery’ sorcerer has been involved in. It may even have been multiple mystery magicians.

      • Don Yu September 13, 2016 at 2:19 am #

        As William said that Fists of Justice book 12 would be probable book where we can see how political situation surrounding Cockatrice and progress of the ideas introduces by Emily since it seems that for every two book is one year for Emily. So two years to develop sounds right to me from Wedding Hell book 8 of the sim series.

        From what I took from the series is that we are on a journey with Emily seeing how she develop as a person. But the end goal is about how the allies lands can go forward, through Emily, push back and win the war against the necromancer.

  4. Mark September 13, 2016 at 4:46 am #

    Even though Emily has stepped aside from Cockatrice, absolutely NO ONE will EVER leave her out of their calculations as to attacking Zangaria or Cockatrice. She is the 800 Ton Gorilla of the Nameless World and anyone attacking her friends or interests had better invent and then buy a very large life insurance policy as well as property insurance.

    (Do acts of a pissed off Major Sorceress qualify as “act of god”?

    • Don Yu September 13, 2016 at 5:49 am #

      True but what if King Randor through the baron council replace Imaiqah with someone who would remove all the reforms introduce by Emily and go back to the way it was?

      Keep in mine, Emily right after she leaves the capital at the end of Wedding Hells was happy and feel liberated from Cockatrice with Void very happy that she will not be distracted by the responsibilities of governing Cockatrice. Christopher said in this blog that she really don’t want to return to Cockatrice and thus more important of development of her magic and her life career satisfaction then political power.

      With her life goal been a tutor in Whitehall, she will feel reluctant with her been involved in preventing the legal action of the King. Alassa will probably ask her to be involved but if Emily does gets involved then the little secrete of Imaiqah’s father been the head of the rebellion during the Wedding can be used by the Evil sorcerer and Nanette which will help in their goal of creating chaos in the Allied Lands as above actions will lead to Cockatrice going into rebellion as they seem willing to do if Emily leads it when she was last in Cockatrice castle.

      Also you have to remember that one best duellist nearly killed her. Yes she would progress from that point but then multiple sorcerers attacking her at once would kill her if she join in the rebellion against legal actions of the King and the barons. White Council will then need to step in again Emily as other Kings will support the King Randor against Emily. In book 1, King of Halers actions lead to civil war that lead to been taken over by Necromancers. Taking that as lesson learned with Allied Lands have much less room for weakening of one of their powerful western Kingdoms so support from White Council would be more forthcoming.

      So with Emily not willing to go back as baron of
      Cockatrice and with no direct threat against Imaiqah and Alassa, I don’t see Emily direct involvement with Void there advice against in. Emily will be much more interested in remaining within Whitehall.

      If Emily had very strong feeling about people she left behind in Cockatrice then she would of done more at the end of Wedding Hells then travelling around the Allied Lands and passive about it. Alassa was the one to come up with the solution.

    • G September 13, 2016 at 5:29 pm #

      Chris has chosen to set up a world where Emily has to choose between being a powerful sorceress or a Baroness (although personally this makes no sense to me as many nobles in world history set policy and delegated with long absences from lands and none walked away from that much power or wealth…then or now)

      Emily according to those rules can’t be a 5th or 6th year student at Whitehall while being Baroness of Cockatrice and, looking at future titles, Chris has planned the series for Emily to graduate from Whitehall. Emily is also under sentence of death if she returns to Zangaria–and Randor does have enough power and money to hire multiple combat sorcerers/assasins who attacking in groups could easily kill Emily–no one in invulnerable. Now would be the time for the Barons to openly or covertly attack Cockatrice…

  5. William Ameling September 14, 2016 at 4:31 am #

    I went back to Book 1 (Schooled in Magic) to get his name: Malefic who is a Dark Wizard (Sorcerer) who lived in Dragon’s Den before he kidnapped Emily and Alassa in book 1. If neither Malefic or Void is Nanette’s new Master that we see at the end of Wedding Hell’s (Book 8) then he is most likely someone we have not yet met by name in the SIM series. For the purposes of creating and telling (and reading) a long story it is easier to first consider characters that we have already meet in the story for a new role such as Nanette’s master, otherwise he could be almost any Magician in the Nameless World that we have not yet met. I don’t think that Void wants to tie up his time, energy, and mana trying to take control of Zangaria. In fact, he congratulates Emily from cutting her ties to Cockatrice because they were/would distract her from what was truly important: the study of magic. I also think that Void would not have used up an old favor from a Dragon for something as trivial as delivering Emily to Whitehall without some much greater purpose or reason that we have not yet seen.

    I also think that Malefic is our best candidate for the Magician who provided the means to turn Mother Holly into a Necromancer back in Book 4, Work Experience, as well as in Book 2, Lessons in Etiquette. It is easier to believe in (or follow the story of) one principle enemy for the SIM series after the death of Shadye than for multiple bad guys; at least until such time as we have proof that there are multiple bad guys to worry about in the story line. Any other bad guy character would have to be someone we met much later in the series.

    • William Ameling September 14, 2016 at 4:35 am #

      I also mean human bad guy, not a Demon that we do know is involved in manipulating Emily.

      • Don Yu September 14, 2016 at 4:56 am #

        But why does it have to be human?

        It could be Elves. As not all of them is killed and long living as the plans that Master of Nanette is carrying out seem to be long term like Alassa’s education on magic and governing of the kingdom is crippled from early age.

        If necromancer win then they would then kill each other without new source of humans to kill (even though they seem to have “farms” to grow humans to murder to kill the flow of power going) and new necromancers to replace those that died.

        Elves then can take over an empty world to reshape as they see fit.

  6. William Ameling September 15, 2016 at 10:16 pm #

    Melissa’s great grandmother, Fulvia, is now an enemy of Emily but that is only since the end of book 6, which we know resulted in the duel to the death between Emily and Master Grey in book 7. Besides the fact that Fulvia is female, she has only became an enemy after Nanette was rescued and treated for the loss of her arm due to Emily’s Death Viper at the end of book 5, so she is not that enemy or directly related to him (Nanette’s new Master)) and I don’t think that Markus’s grandfather is as annoyed with Emily as Fulvia, so I do not consider him to be a major enemy for Emily.

    I think I saw a reference somewhere either in a Blog message or in Book 8 or 9 that Fulvia may have disappeared and/or lost control of her house, is that correct?

    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard September 15, 2016 at 10:42 pm #

      Chris has stated that Fulvia has lost control of her house.

      IIRC Chris has said that she still has some degree of power/influence in spite of losing control over her house.

      Don’t remember Chris stating that she has disappeared.

      • chrishanger September 16, 2016 at 5:44 pm #

        That’s basically accurate – she’s no longer in a position of power (which doesn’t make her powerless.)


    • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard September 16, 2016 at 3:38 am #

      Ah, it was in Book 9 that it was mentioned that Fulvia had left the Ashwood home and Void told Emily that nobody knew where she had gone.

      Chris had commented that Fulvia had lost control of the Ashwood Family.

  7. William Ameling September 16, 2016 at 2:54 am #

    I did not remember exactly what was said about Fulvia, which is why I asked about it. Your/his answer makes sense in terms of what we know about the situation.

    • William Ameling September 16, 2016 at 2:59 am #

      I also wonder if any of her senior house members are/were aware of her connection to Master Grey? And if his defeat/death at the hands of Emily played any role in hew loss of control of her House?

      • Paul (Drak Bibliophile) Howard September 16, 2016 at 3:33 am #

        My guess is that Emily didn’t talk publically about her suspicion that Fulvia was involved in Master Grey’s actions.

        Emily didn’t have proof except for Master Grey’s private comment to her.

        Fulvia could have accused Emily of Slander and that could have caused even more problems for Emily if Emily couldn’t prove it.

        As for why Fulvia fell from the leadership of Ashworth Family, by my reading of the Epilogue of “Love’s Labor Won”, I get the impression that prior to the events in “Love’s Labor Won” nobody questioned her Right To Rule the Ashworth Family but afterwards the family members including her eldest son were questioning her Right To Rule and were working to remove her from power.

        I suspect the fact that Fulvia was a member of the Ashworth Family only by marriage was more important to them than anything else.

        Mind you, if the connection between her and Master Grey’s action became known, the senior members of the family would have been more interested in getting rid of her.

        But as I said, I’m not sure how commonly known it was.

      • chrishanger September 16, 2016 at 5:46 pm #

        No, Emily never shared that bit of data with any of the Ashworths. Proving it would be difficult.


      • chrishanger September 16, 2016 at 5:45 pm #


        Basically, she lost power because she embarrassed the family and nearly sparked a confrontation that could have wiped out the family leadership (even if they won.) As formidable as she is, she couldn’t keep them loyal to her after that.


  8. William Ameling September 16, 2016 at 9:38 pm #

    Thank you for clarifying what happened with Fulvia. If I was Markus and Melissa, I think I would want to watch out for trouble from Fulvia. Possibly, we could see her involved in Fists of Justice (Book 12) as well as Nanette and her new master (Malefic?). Caleb’s home city would a place were Fulvia could get at all 3 of them (Emily, Markus, and Melissa) for revenge. Fists of Justice sounds like a reference to the Hands of Justice that we saw in Caleb’s Home city earlier in the SIM series (Book 8), although we do not know how widespread they are in other places such as Zangaria and Cockatrice. They could be something that is developing because of the ideas and technologies that Emily has already introduced.

    I do not think that the Nameless world thinks of Slander, the way that we do. What we would consider as Slander, would probably handled by challenges to a Duel, and if I was Fulvia, I would not want a duel with Emily after what happened to Master Grey. So basically Fulvia will have to conceal her actions against them. We have already seen Emily thinking about the non existence of Slander laws or even the concept of Slander in previous books.

    • Grayson J. Otto September 17, 2016 at 8:36 am #

      I would think that, having failed with the duel with Master Grey, Fulvia and others will turn to covert assasination attempts–I hope Sergeant Miles teaches her to always check for poisons, always carry heavy shields around upper body when not in secure location (she should now have the power), always scan surroundings for threats, etc…

      • Don Yu September 17, 2016 at 9:15 am #

        One of the main reasons for Emily’s obsession of gaining knowledge of magic is shelf protection.

    • chrishanger September 26, 2016 at 6:14 pm #

      She will be back …


  9. William Ameling September 19, 2016 at 2:48 am #

    It is possible that we could see Fulvia and Nanette’s master join forces. But I am not sure they would trust each other enough to work together closely, and their goals would probably be different. However, we could see them both plotting behind the scenes independently in the same book such as Fists of Justice. What I wonder about is how far the Hands of Justice have spread into Cockatrice and Zangaria since Caleb’s home city borders Cockatrice. and I think is surrounded by them. I also wonder if Nanette’s master may be trying to control/manipulate the Hands of Justice. I could see the Hands/Fists of Justice be turned against King Randor as being unjust as part of Nanette’s master’s strategy of formenting revolt in Zangaria.

  10. Jacqueline Harris September 21, 2016 at 2:42 am #

    I think the person conspiring with nenette is the grandmasters twin brother. I think he is a bad guy. I don’t think void is cloak. Cloak has plans to CA’s chaos and change then world order. I don’t think void is as crasy as lady barb thinks though she has good reason to distrust him void seems like the end justifies the mans kind off guy but in the second book he specifically send Emily to keep the peace in sangria. I think only two thing could bring Emily back to zangria if allasa asks for help or cockatrice is so threatened Emily doesn’t have a choice.

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