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The Dei Family

Alian Dei, she of the famous diary, was never actually a Dei. Her diary was also never seen in its true form until Atan (Yustnesveas Landis V) discovered missing pages late in the 4700s. So over the centuries her story accreted legend in place of fact.

Her family, Onye, were minor functionaries in the outlying district of Eidervaen. She was invited to be a queen's page because of her looks. The queen mother loved to be surrounded by pretty girls. She had curling black hair, brilliant coloring, and eyes of an extraordinarily vivid blue.

Alian's Background

The Landis government of that time was hierarchical to an astonishing degree, showing signs of becoming ossified: there were levels of rank, signified in clothing, behavior, place, and only certain ranks could do certain jobs--into all this a stranger walked, ripping it away like tearing spiderwebs as he bested the nobles at everything: the ritualized dueling, poetry, recitation of historical ballad (ossified into specific forms), even dance. Alian was only a minor court figure at the time, brought into the training because the queen mother loved being surrounded by pretty girls, and Alian was extraordinarily beautiful and graceful as a child. She also was quite charming, and being smart and ambitious as well, had by the age of sixteen honed her charm as carefully as the nobles honed their steel weapons.

Connar, just a few years older, noticed her as soon as he was of an age to notice anyone, and never swerved from his devotion. The nobles, powerful to extreme degree, would not relinquish a jot of their influence, as symbolized in the labyrinthine court ritual.

Connar was fighting a losing battle to be permitted to court Alian when a Sartoran from one of the outlying provinces, named only Handral (no family name) turned up in court. Within a short time he'd broken all the rules binding court interactions, but won every single contest of skill--and at the end of one of the most important contests he not only walked off with the prize, but with Alian herself.

She returned to find a diminished court surrounding a mourning young king, who, despite the outrage of the court, was ready to take her--and adopt her children--if she would part from her lover and marry him. Legend has it she dismissed Handral from her life, having fallen in love with Connar. The truth in her diary is that she was torn between love and ambition, but Handral resolved the issue by parting from Alian, who wept storms--but rose from her grief determined to be a queen. Connar got his wish, but as a compromise with his court (the nobles were dead set against her elevation, but the people had taken to her cause as inspirational: if she could rise, anyone could rise) he and Alian signed a treaty stating that her children by Handral, given the name Dei, could never inherit the throne.

Handral only returned once, after the birth of the third child, Adamas, to give him a sword of watered, tempered quality that shone black in all but the brightest lights. About Adamas's early years even more legend grew than about Alian. The diary makes it clear that though Handral never returned to Eivervaen, he took his son away for ten years.

Alian married Connar in 3355.

Though their marriage treaty kept the Deis from inheriting Sartor, Connar and Alian's marriage itself enabled Sartor to always permit merit to rise, and fostered a sense of royal self-examination--that was the result of Connar's writings on the subject, now used as manuals for kingship.

The disinheritance treaty subsequently chased the Deis down through the centuries.

Alian's children unsurprisingly were all smart, charming, and attractive, having the edge on the Landis children, giving rise to the Del-Landis love/hate relationship that persisted down through time. The older two were the first 'Golden Deis'--who apparently took after their father's side of the family, though the early entries in Alian's diary note with indifference that he was average in appearance. Howver, his daughter and oldest son were fair, with eyes of a light brown that looked gold in most light. These two had their mother's vivid skin coloring. Adamas inherited his mother's curling black hair, only with golden highlights, and the vivid blue eyes. This combination of features subsequently showed up in various combinations down the years in the Dei descendants with the frequency of the famed Landis gooseberry eyes--it helped that every century or two descendants tended to cross and recross family boundaries.

The Deis' ambitions and talents tended to make them rise to the top of whatever group they were in. Because of these political troubles, there are many sayings about the Deis, the most common being that they were never kings. In some lands, in fact, they could not own land, which is what drove the Imaran branch to marry out and adopt other names. In Everon, the Deis were given command of the elite who led the army, as long as they never carried another title or owned land.

Adamas Dei and the Cassadas family

Adamas became the focus of a group who wanted him to depose his half-siblings and take the throne of Sartor, as he was demonstrably better trained, smarter, and far more charismatic than anyone in either Dei or Landis family. So he exiled himself, refusing ever to return to Sartor. He spent his life wandering the continent, righting wrongs, dispensing wisdom, and championing the weak and helpless; all the legends agree that there was a secret sorrow in his life, that he was driven to become the best because he was determined to right an egregious wrong. He finally settled as far in the west as he could go, on the western coast of Halia, becoming known as the wise blacksmith, teaching the art of tempering steel to the people there; he married Siar Cassadas, a small, triangular-faced, buck-toothed woman whose charisma made everyone insist she was beautiful, though the few drawings of the time do not capture her charm. His son Hannik was famed as a warrior.

Adamas never talked about his background, but visits from siblings and then nieces and nephews revealed the Sartoran connection. That connection remained over the succeeding generations; the Dei family became focused on their heritage.

Generations later, his and Siar's descendant, who was known for her astonishing insights, Isa Cassadas loved a very young, golden-haired man, which resulted in far-seeing children. But Isa, knowing the Dei obsession with their heritage, kept them from finding out about her child. She moved away and changed her family name to Le, or Li.

Deis in Modern Times

The Deis' last political clash happened in Sartor right before the war that resulted in their being enchanted for a century. There were four Dei siblings: Diantas, who gave up her name when she married Connar Landis; Merewen, who became a Loi, Julian, who wanted to be queen and had a daughter she named for herself, and the worst of them was named Harold, who was exiled. The enchantment caught him at the border. When it began to recede fifteen years before Sartor was freed, he woke up one day, and made his way to Everon, got in trouble with the new generation of Deis, and fled, many said off-world to Geth (where he had two kids). Iskandar, the patriarch of the Everoneth branch, saw to it that Harold left after his unsuccessful bid to take over Everon, take over the Knights, and then to smear Iskandar's name.

In modern times, these two branches--Sartoran and Everoneth--were the only ones using the name Dei, though the branch in Imar (having settled into peaceful existence as shipwrights and shopkeepers) kept the name in family legends.

So strong was the Dei legend that every century or two some child would show up with the Dei features, and if those were matched with the ambitions, charisma, and talents considered the legacy of that family, such children were almost inevitably called "Dei" even if they had a thoroughly mapped family tree for several generations back, with no Deis in it.

Because the Deis had no dynastic center, it was generally assumed that no one was keeping records of the family. Eventually that is discovered to be wrong. Perusal of those records show that descendants tended toward the arts, and there are an appreciable number whose work became well known, though under other names. The arts they were drawn to tended more toward stage, music, and interior design, though there are many painters among them--including among the more political descendants.

This, for example, shows up in writings about Liere Fer Eider and her daughter Lyren Sartora; they are as often as not called Deis, though they are descendants of the Imaran branch who had given up the name several generations ago.

Members of the Dei family


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Categories: Characters by Family || Dei Family

Page last modified on December 05, 2016, at 10:08 AM