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Stavian III

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Stavian III
Grand Prince Stavian III.
(Person)

Titles
Formerly: Grand Prince
Emperor of Taldor
Scion of Aroden
Doge of Andoran
Defender of Galt
Eternal Monarch of Cheliax
Primarch-in-waiting of Absalom
Alignment
Ancestry/Species
Class
Gender
Male
Homeland
Born
Source: Crownfall, pg(s). 56

Grand Prince Stavian III was the previous monarch of the nation of Taldor before the unusual ascension of his daughter, the Grand Princess Eutropia, Taldor's current ruler.123

Personality

As a ruler, Stavian III was as dissolute as the rest of his nation and prone to much bitterness. He was an awkward man who dallied in frivolous activities and surrounded himself with sycophants, while the actual management of Taldor was left to the bureaucracy.4 Despite his licentious behaviour, Stavian III nevertheless proved himself a cunning administrator and strengthened the position of emperor since the weak rule of his father, Stavian II.5

Policies

Upon his appointment as grand prince, Stavian reinforced his position by ordering the construction of Stavian's Hold, a frontier town on the edge of the Whistling Plain. He launched a massive public works and military campaign to support this move, but his master-stroke was to persuade many of the wealthy nobles to fund and support this venture, convincing them that their involvement would garner them great honour and prestige. These were the same royals to have troubled and weakened Stavian II during his rule.5

In order to further strengthen his empire and to gain loyal supporters, Stavian III also created an incentive program which promised formal titles to anyone willing to claim lands from rogue lords.6 This ensured that lords regarded as "unworthy" of their position by the crown could be forcibly removed and replaced by individuals loyal to the grand prince.[citation needed]

The grand prince took a great interest in the historic and cultural legacy of Old Taldor, and went to substantial lengths to keep such relics within the borders of Taldor. Under his direction, heavy taxes and tariffs were imposed on all antiquities being sent out of the country.7

Family

A young Grand Prince Stavian III with his children: Carrius II (left) and Eutropia.

Stavian III had two children with his wife Etroffe. The eldest was his daughter, Princess Eutropia and his son Carrius II was born two years later. Carrius was accidentally killed by Stavian during an argument in 4698 AR when he pushed his son down a flight of stairs.8 Stavian hid this crime by making it look like his son had died in a horseback riding accident and forbade to have him resurrected. He also had the only witness to the event, an Ulfen Guard named Herog Svalkson, killed.9

War for the Crown

Unwilling to remarry, Stavian had only one surviving child, Eutropia, which was problematic as Taldor had always practised agnatic primogeniture, or sole inheritance by the oldest son. Eutropia intended, nevertheless, to take the throne upon her father's death, by force if necessary. Her headstrong attitude and progressive ideals did not sit well with the aging grand prince,4 whose paranoia led him to believe that she wanted him killed and removed from power. When Eutropia gathered enough supporters among the Taldan senate and the nobility who wished to overturn Taldor's laws regarding agnatic primogeniture, Stavian created a secret alliance of Andoren bankers, Chelish nobles, and Galtan royalists, and hired a private army.9

In 4718 AR Stavian III, lacking a male heir since Carrius II's death, secretly adopted and nameed High Strategos Maxillar Pythareus as his heir hours before the Taldan senate was to vote on the repeal of primogeniture during the Grand Day of Exaltation in Oppara. Pythareus had once courted Eutropia and had long opposed her attempts to claim the crown for herself.10

The full Taldan senate gathered to vote on the repeal of primogeniture as part of the day's festivities, with his daughter and all of her supporters present, and the repeal passed by a vote of 107 to 79 with 36 abstentions. While preparing to exalt the commoner Kalbio to the barony of Breezy Creek, he stabbed Kalbio to death while denigrating all present, then signaled for the private army to slaughter everyone in the senate. The mass murder, which killed a total of 180 senators, aides, guards, relatives, and staff, was soon known as the Exaltation Massacre and touched off a civil war of succession known as the War for the Crown.1112

Stavian III was believed and initially reported to be killed in the massacre after a Lion Blade agent leaped from the crowd and stabbed Stavian III through the heart.13 However, he had in fact been injured, secretly moved to Zimar by Pythareus, and effectively deposed.814 He was diagnosed with dementia and quietly survived the war, which ended with Eutropia being crowned Grand Princess and Carrius II, resurrected and having briefly served as Grand Prince during the war, as her heir.15

Disputed bloodline

During the War for the Crown, agents of Eutropia linked Pythareus to a false-flag plot stoking war with Qadira and discredited him.16 In response, agents of Pythareus published records indicating that Grand Prince Stavian I was an illegitimate heir born of the disgraced House Adella. The records are subsequently confirmed by multiple academics and undermine Eutropia's bloodline claim to the crown.17

References

For additional as-yet unincorporated sources about this subject, see the Meta page.

  1. Jason Nelson, et al. “Magic of the Inner Sea” in Inner Sea Magic, 7. Paizo Inc., 2011
  2. Joshua J. Frost. Taldor, Empire in Decline” in Taldor, Echoes of Glory, 11. Paizo Inc., 2009
  3. Tanya DePass, et al. Shining Kingdoms” in World Guide, 123. Paizo Inc., 2019
  4. 4.0 4.1 James Jacobs, et al. The Inner Sea World Guide, 184. Paizo Inc., 2011
  5. 5.0 5.1 Joshua J. Frost. Taldor, Empire in Decline” in Taldor, Echoes of Glory, 4. Paizo Inc., 2009
  6. Tim Hitchcock. Decline of Glory, 3. Paizo Inc., 2009
  7. Alex Greenshields. The Dalsine Affair, 5. Paizo Inc., 2011
  8. 8.0 8.1 Thurston Hillman. “NPC Gallery” in Crownfall, 57. Paizo Inc., 2018
  9. 9.0 9.1 Thurston Hillman. “Crownfall” in Crownfall, 5. Paizo Inc., 2018
  10. Mikko Kallio. “City in the Lion's Eye” in City in the Lion's Eye, 5. Paizo Inc., 2018
  11. Thurston Hillman. “Crownfall” in Crownfall, 25. Paizo Inc., 2018
  12. Thurston Hillman. “Crownfall” in Crownfall, 51. Paizo Inc., 2018
  13. Thurston Hillman. The Lion's Justice, 17. Paizo Inc., 2018
  14. Mikko Kallio. “City in the Lion's Eye” in City in the Lion's Eye, 49. Paizo Inc., 2018
  15. Mikhail Rekun. Eutropia Stavian” in Legends, 42. Paizo Inc., 2020
  16. This refers to the events of City in the Lion's Eye, which are presumed to be canon by subsequent events being made canon.
  17. John Compton. “The Reaper's Right Hand” in The Reaper's Right Hand, 6. Paizo Inc., 2018