Updated: May 10
First Introduced: The Cutthroat Prince
Spoilers: The Cutthroat Prince
Description: Lady knight - first of Kelkor, then of Alamore. One of Kelkor's most trusted knights (under reign of King Azric). Serena has red hair, green eyes, and a below-average height yet strong build.
Back story: Serena is related to several of the noble houses of Kelkor. In her youth, there was never any doubt that she would train to become a knight. She is a second child, her older brother inheriting the lands of her title. She is the only girl in her family to pursue knighthood (to the disapproval of several more distant relatives, including a powerful uncle.)
Serena came to the capitol palace of Kelkor in Kelvane, in the rule of King Havias and Queen Lenara, when she was eight to train first as a page. As a page, it was quickly clear that she was not to be under estimated and caught the eye of Lady Elhar, Leader of the Queen's Command. Upon becoming a squire, Lady Elhar selected Serena as her apprentice and Serena was inducted to work alongside royals and knights.
While working with royals at age thirteen, Serena soon befriended the Princess - Paranella. Despite several years of age difference, the two quickly became inseparable. She and Paranella spent free time training together, studying, and riding. When it came time for Paranella to meet potential husbands, Serena was included in the meetings surrounding this and learning about the suitors, the power they held, and the reasons which relationships might bring Kelkor strength.
Suitors arrived at the start of a one month celebration of Paranella's seventeenth birthday. At this time, suitors from Phersal, Shadow Dale, Bronswick, Cale, Alamore, and Thornten joined the court, along with their parties of supporters.
Amongst these were Prince Azric of Alamore and Prince Marl of Thornten.
Prince Mark of Thornten was joined by his younger brother, Prince Esrin. During the first night of celebration, Serena found herself standing away from the crowd, more fond of practicing in combat that social events. She was soon joined by Esrin who asked her to dance. She politely declined, pointing out she was a squire, not there as a noble, and intending to stand guard. So, instead of leaving, Esrin took the chair beside hers and they spent the evening debating which suitors might be of most interest to Paranella, discussing the differences in Kelkor and Thornten practicing, and agreeing that they'd train together the following morning.
Prince Mark of Thornten was joined by his younger brother, Prince Esrin. During the first night of celebration, Serena found herself standing away from the crowd, more fond of practicing in combat that social events. She was soon joined by Esrin who asked her to dance. She politely declined, pointing out she was a squire, not there as a noble, and intending to stand guard. So, instead of leaving, Esrin took the chair beside hers and they spent the evening debating which suitors might be of most interest to Paranella, discussing the differences in Kelkor and Thornten practcing, and agreeing that they'd train together the following morning.
With Paranella distracted in court affairs and Lady Elhar acting at the Queen's side, Serena had been certain the month would be boring. Instead, however, she found Esrin joining her in practice more often. In time after practice, they lounged in the libraries or explored the cliffs - something Esrin was fastinated in, having never been in an area of cliffs. Soon, Serena found she was growing fond of Esrin, her guard relaxing around him, trusting him with rants and annoyance of suitors that she'd met, how she didn't feel that they deserved Paranella, and discussing the strengths each might bring to Kelkor.
This, ultimately, proved costly. Little did Serena know that Esrin was bringing this information to his brother, Prince Marl. Marl quickly realized that he could turn from trying to sway Paranella's affection - which he had little interest in - to trying to prove that he was powerful enough to lead battles against enemies of Kelkor. Instead, he began seeking followers at court who wanted vengeance against Shadow Dale for their constant attempts of war.
On the final night of celebration, the night of Paranella's birthday, Marl stepped forward and announced he would marry her and that much of her court already had shown their support of him. This caused outrage, as Marl had broken rules of chivalry by using information that had been confidential. It caused issues, too, as powers of court argued amongst themselves and his brutal proposal was seen as an attempt to corner the Princess rather than strengthen the country. Serena quickly realized where Marl had gleaned this information. After this, she refused to speak the Esrin that evening or the next day when the court, still in turmoil, fell into silence of debating how to proceed.
It was finally Azric, the quiet Prince of Almaore, who came forward to the King and Queen of Kelkor. He announced that, on behalf of his father, King Paradon of Alamore, he was swearing loyalty to Kelkor without need of a hand in marriage. He said that Alamore would stand with Kelkor against Thornten and Shadow Dale, if needed, but that Paranella deserved the right to marry who she wanted to. This not only won him favor with court but also Paranella. She announced she would marry Azric and that Marl would need to leave court immediately.
Marl did so, as did Esrin, in the dead of night. Along with Marl and Esric, a knight of the Queen's Command - Lady Orlena - vanished with them. She and Marl later wed in secret, leading people to wonder if it had been Orlena who provided these secrets to Marl.
However, Serena was tried in court under the King and Queen for treason. With her life at stake for spilling secrets that might have caused war, Serena did not attempt to defend herself. It was Princess Paranella and Prince Azric who, in the end, came forward as her defense. Paranella said she knew Serena did not mean harm by anything she may have told Prince Ezrin. Azric informed the crown that Serena could not be held accountable for her actions, as no one could truly prove Orlena had not given Marl this information.
Serena was acquitted but swore her life to Azric, Paranella, and later their daughter - Kalia. Despite Azric's defense, Serena remained certain that Esrin had used her for information. She would never trust him again.
IMAGE: Serena, as created by MidJourney AI Software