Iron Kingdoms 3.5
Queen Ayn Vanar XI
Monarch of Glorious Khador!
The youngest sovereign among the current rulers of western Immoren, Queen Ayn Vanar XI has earned a reputation as one of the most aggressive monarchs on Khador’s throne for nearly a century. As a princess, she fell in with a group of imperialists in the capital, all remnants of noble fellowships who believe in the divine right of Khador to rule all of western Immoren. She also sat at the knee of her grandfather-figure, the Lord Regent Simonyev Blaustavya, while he told her of her deceased grandfather’s dream of a renewed empire—the “legacy of the Vanars,” he called it.
The present royal line of Khador, the Vanars, descends from a strong dynasty with roots in the Khardic Empire. They pride themselves on military service, and Ayn enjoys reviewing Khador’s armies in person. This way she ensures they are always equipped and ready for battle. She considers the modernization of Khador essential to long-term success and pushes the weapon foundries and the Greylords Covenant to labor night and day. Ayn handpicked Kommandant Gurvaldt Irusk from among her advisory board— called the High Kommand—and tasked him with modernizing Khador’s military. By royal decree, Irusk gained the authority to make any changes he saw fit, and the results have been extraordinary. Perhaps his greatest policy success lay in securing the required coin to extend Khador’s rail lines, thus improving Khador’s ability to mobilize swiftly.
Another of the queen’s shrewd maneuvers was her treatment of Khador’s Menites. Traditionally, her ancestors had largely ignored the prodigious Menite community. The queen, herself a Morrowan, instituted a radical plan to appease the minority faith and reduce religious tension. She reinstated several abandoned traditions in her personal chapel, offered substantial tithes to the local Temple, and restored the ancient litanies of praise to the Shaper of Man. These acts caused considerable controversy and worried the local Vicarate Council, but such formal recognition immediately gained her unprecedented approval with the Old Faith. She was the first monarch in centuries to attempt to bridge the divide between the two faiths, and the effect was especially strong with a number of significant noble Menite families. As a result of more correlation with these nobles and their agents, the queen soon learned how many of them provided support, financial or otherwise, to the Protectorate’s secret military schemes.
Queen Ayn chose not to act on this information immediately, for she recognized a powerful weapon in their zeal, and her plan to use the Sul-Menites against Cygnar eventually came to fruition. Constant raids and holy squabbles tied up Cygnaran intelligence while she manipulated Llael’s prime minister into vacating his western borders, and it all played out perfectly. When the time was ripe, she swiftly severed all ties to the Protectorate and sent a message to Hierarch Garrick Voyle in clear terms: no longer would Khador take part in his seditious smuggling effort. In response to her terms, Voyle called for all members of the Old Faith to leave Khador and come to Menoth and his Protectorate.
Queen Ayn’s aggressive tendencies and radical ideas have put her at odds with the more traditional noble houses of the Khadoran court. Even so, her successes have silenced any opposition. Since being crowned queen, Ayn has cultivated advances in agriculture, mechanika, mining, steamworks, medicine, and the arts all with the encouragement of former regent Blaustavya. She has ushered in a new era of expansive Khadoran conquests, gained the adoration of her subjects, and with allies such as Irusk and Zoktavir at her disposal the queen has little to fear from any would-be conspirators.