King of Furyondy
Furyondy’s current sovereign is King Belvor IV, a 72-year-old paladin of Heironeous who came to the throne very young in 537 CY, after the death of his father Belvor III. Belvor is strong and brave, a true King. Unfortunately, he is also prone to fits of impatience, and that is his one failing despite his skills as a diplomat and negotiator.
Technically, Belvor is an absolute rule; what he says goes. However he is always required to consult with the representatives of the “Seven Families” (as the noble houses are called). Each of these hails from one of the provinces of the land, and is a minor noble in his own right. These representative form Belvor’s Noble Council, which meets in Chendl. Everything has to be agreed to by them before Belvor can act on matters of State, and there are often powerful disagreements between them. One point of precedence, which is very important to the Seven Families, is that their formal titles are not important. They are regarded as equals in rank, above everyone except the King. This is an exception to the usual niceties of life in Furyondy, where social rank and title is of great importance among the elite.
Furyondy is a feudal state. Below the King and the Noble Council is an array of minor nobles who meet in what is termed the “Knightly Conclave”, a semi-parliamentary group which considers more or less any issue it wishes to and then offers its opinions to Belvor. This is the forum where the Knights of the Hart are influential, as are a few powerful Guilds, priesthoods, artisans, and the like. There are very subtle difference of rank within this group, which is self perpetuating either by birth (nobles) or by very secret appointments and elections (Guilds).
Belvor also has his own advisors, and he increasingly turns to them for help in trying to make his nobles do what he wants them to do. Belvor also has the Council of Four; a group of four elemental wizards led by the arch-mage Karzalin, who is one of Belvor’s most trusted friends. In addition, ambassadors of certain foreign states also play a key role in decision making. This is especially true of Canon Hazen of Veluna, Furyondy’s major supporter-state.
Furyondy’s feudal system of government is a great assistance to Belvor when attempting to confront other nobles. Legally, Belvor owns all the lands of Furyondy. He grants the provinces to the Seven Families, who must pay him agreed taxes in return. They retain some land for themselves, and lease or grant land titles to minor nobles, freeman, clergy and the like. In turn, they collect taxes from these lesser landowners. Minor nobles may further lease land to freemen or farmers, but may not make land grants without the approval of the provincial ruler. Minor landholders have bailiffs and reeves who administer estates and collect taxes and tithes.
With the impending marriage of Prince Thrommel and Lady Jolene of Samprastadar, Furyondy is on the verge of once again regaining part of what was lost. Canon Hazen and King Belvor have come to an agreement that states: Beginning with the reign of King Thrommel III and Queen Jolene, Veluna and Furyondy will once again become one great nation. That the Throne of Furyondy will extent into Veluna and all its provinces, and that all Veluniese citizen shall become citizens of the Kingdom of Furyondy.
King Belvor’s first marriage was to Lady Roshelle of Dyvers. Queen Roshelle was King Belvor’s one true love and his greatest failing. It was Roshelle, with her seductive charms that caused the rift between King Belvor and Lord Odric Sevren and the eventual shame that befell the Kingdom because of it.
King Belvor and Lady Roshelle were married on the 4th of Richfest in 565 CY. Queen Roshelle gave birth to Prince Thrommel on the 14th of Goodmonth in 566 CY. To all Roshelle was a good mother and a fine Queen, but eventually the news of her affair with Lord Odric Sevren was brought out into the open. Queen Roshelle was convicted of the crime in 569 CY and sentenced to life imprisonment in the royal dungeons for adultery. In less than a month, a group of renegade knights broke into the dungeon and freed the Queen. Her whereabouts are still unknown to this day and in 570 CY King Belvor had her declared dead.
In 572 CY King Belvor, bowing to pressure from the Noble Council and their fear of only having one royal heir, agreed to marry Lady Veldalla, the sister to Viscount Luther Derwent. The marriage was a good one, though privately Belvor still loved Queen Roshelle and felt that he was betraying his vows.
Queen Veldalla gave birth to Princess Mylena on the 3rd of Coldeven 574 CY. All were happy to see the birth of the daughter, but the Noble Council still wished to see another male heir and pressured the Queen into having another child right a way. Due to complications believed to be caused by the hurried pregnancy, Queen Veldalla died shortly after the birth of Princess Verpelsa on the 20th of Fireseek 575 CY.
The King was devastated by the loss of a second wife and took solace in the Church of Heironeous. In time King Belvor quelled his grief and took on the mantle of pure chivalry, valor and honor by becoming a Paladin of Heironeous. The Noble Council was outraged by the decision, for Paladins of Heironeous are forbidden to take wives, and tried to steer the King from his chosen path. King Belvor refused to acquiesce and the Noble Council was forced to accept that there would be only one male heir to the throne. Needless to say, the Noble Council has spent many years watching over and trying to protect Prince Thrommel